Consumer Lawyers

J&J Halts Study of Doribax Antibiotic – Higher Death Rate

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2012 at 1:28 am

J and j  halted a clinical trial of its antibiotic Doribax after more pneumonia patients who took the product died and fewer were cured, regulators said.

Doribax, already approved for urinary and abdominal infections in the U.S., is still considered safe and effective for those uses, the FDA said on its website. The trial tested the drug in pneumonia patients who were on ventilators, an indication for which it’s approved in Europe.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public that a recent clinical trial with Doribax (doripenem) was stopped early because of significant safety concerns. This trial, which was evaluating the effects of Doribax on treatment of patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia, demonstrated excess mortality and a numerically poorer clinical cure rate among subjects treated with Doribax compared to those treated with imipenem-cilastatin. FDA is reviewing the trial results and will communicate any new information that results from this investigation.

Healthcare professionals should be aware that Doribax is not approved to treat any type of pneumonia, nor is it approved for doses greater than 500 mg every eight hours. 

Doribax is still considered safe and effective for its approved indications–treatment of adults with complicated intra-abdominal infections and complicated urinary tract infections including pyelonephritis. The recommended dose of Doribax is 500 mg every eight hours intravenously, given over 1 hour, for a total of 5-14 days (depending on indication) in adults.

According to Janssen Research and Development LLC (Doribax’s manufacturer), Table 1 below shows the interim results for both clinical cure rates and 28-day all-cause mortality rates for the Microbiological Intent-to-Treat (MITT) population and the Microbiologically Evaluable (ME) population.

Table 1. Summary of Clinical Cure Rates and All-Cause 28-Day Mortality Rate


Analysis Population Doripenem


2-sided 95%
Clinical Cure Rates
MITT 45.6 56.8 -11.2 -26.3 to 3.8
ME 49.1 66.1 -17 -34.7 to 0.8
All Cause 28-day Mortality Rate (MITT) 21.5 14.8 6.7 -5.0 to 18.5




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