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Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (TTPH - Snapshot Report) recently announced that the first patient in its phase III randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, multicenter, prospective clinical study on eravacycline has been dosed. The candidate is being developed for the treatment of complicated intraabdominal infections (cIAI).

Tetraphase intends to enrol 536 adults for the study in around 100 centers around the globe. Tetraphase will be evaluating the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics (PK) of eravacycline in comparison to Merck & Co. Inc.’s (MRK - Analyst Report) Invanz (ertapenem) in cIAI patients.

The primary objective of the study is clinical response at the test-of-cure (TOC) visit in the microbiological intent-to-treat (micro-ITT) patient population in the eravacycline arm as well as in the Invanz cohort.

Tetraphase also expects to conduct a phase III study on eravacycline for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI). The company intends to commence the study by year end.

Last year, the company successfully completed a phase II study on eravacycline for the treatment of patients suffering from cIAI. Results from the study revealed that eravacycline was active against drug-resistant bacterial pathogens and demonstrated infection cure rates in treating patients with cIAI. These findings were similar to that of Invanz (the comparator drug used in the trial). Eravacycline was also found to be safe during the study.

The company is also evaluating the candidate for other indications. Eravacycline is the lead pipeline candidate at Tetraphase. We expect investor focus to stay on the development of the candidate.

Tetraphase presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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