The limitations of OPAT
Patients with serious infections that resist oral suppression require hospital-administered IV antibiotics. When these patients need a longer course of therapy than is practical in the hospital (≥ 1 week), outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) becomes necessary, at great cost to the healthcare system.
Traditionally, OPAT has been administered intravenously via a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC or PICC line), which is introduced into a large vein and must remain in place over several days. Although effective, this approach can be restrictive to a patient’s overall mobility, comfort, and daily routine. In addition, the coordination of infusion services—as well as catheter placement, monitoring, and follow-up—require professionally trained medical personnel and associated resources. As Medicare doesn’t reimburse providers for these services or supplies, most OPAT patients are sent to the hospital, physician infusion centers, or skilled nursing facilities for treatment.
Further, PICC lines have been associated with unscheduled Emergency Department visits for complications such as discomfort; bleeding at the insertion site; accidental puncture of an artery, nerve, or tendon; clotting in the vein (thrombosis); vein inflammation (phlebitis); infection; and PICC line movement or blockage.
We believe subcutaneous drug delivery could be an attractive alternative to traditional OPAT because it eliminates the need for PICC lines, does not require coordination of infusion services, and allows patients to receive treatment at home.
The promise of subcutaneously administered ceftriaxone
Ceftriaxone, a cephalosporin antibiotic that targets infections caused by Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, is the most commonly used antibiotic in the OPAT setting. Given the broad patient impact of ceftriaxone, we have chosen it as the focus of our lead program in infectious disease (ID).
Our investigational subcutaneous ceftriaxone therapy is designed to provide an alternative to OPAT without the need for a PICC line or clinic-based treatment. We believe that ceftriaxone, and the other anti-infective agents in our pipeline, will transform ID management and the OPAT patient experience.