AstraZeneca and Forest Laboratories have announced a collaboration to co-develop and commercialise ceftaroline, a next-generation anti-infective for skin infections and bacterial pneumonia outside of the US.

Ceftaroline has showed strong bactericidal activity against a broad range of pathogens commonly implicated in complicated skin and skin structure infections and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.

The treatment has even proved effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multi-drug resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae, two conditions that bhave shown increasing resistance to marketed antibiotics.

AstraZeneca chief executive officer David Brennan said that AstraZeneca and Forest Laboratories, through a successful partnership, aim to battle the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

“This collaboration complements our existing antibiotic Merrem, and our significant investment in antibiotic research, as well as agents in development such as CytoFab,” Brennan said.

As per the agreement AstraZeneca will pay Forest an undisclosed signing fee, sales-related royalties and payments for reaching certain sales milestones. AstraZeneca will assume responsibility for the development, regulatory approval and commercialisation of ceftaroline in the licensed territory and both parties will collaborate on future development.

Forest expects to file a New Drug Application in the US by the end of 2009 with AstraZeneca filing a Marketing Authorisation Application in Europe by the end of 2010.