Pharma giant AstraZeneca has won approval for new antibiotic in fight against drug resistance, sending its share price higher for the eighth straight day

Billy Bambrough
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Ireland has the third highest antibiotic use in the EU (Source: Getty)

The European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for a new antibiotic.

The news sent Cambridge-based Astra's share price higher for the eighth straight day, climbing 3.3 per cent and making its gains since the close on Thursday 10 per cent.

Pharma companies are often seen as a safe haven in times of market turmoil.

Read more: Profits slip at AstraZeneca as expiring patents take their toll

GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca rose around four per cent on Friday following the UK vote to quit the European Union and continued rising on Monday, as investors looked for safe ports in a storm, especially ones offering well-diversified global earnings.

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Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said:

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca's shares rose after the European Commission approved the use of the group’s new antibiotic Zavicefta.

The drug has been developed in response to the urgent need for new antibiotics to fight serious infections that are becoming increasingly resistant to existing treatments.

The drug, Zavicefta, will treat patients with serious Gram-negative bacterial infections and the approval covers the treatment of adult patients.

Hans Sijbesma, managing director for AstraZeneca's antibiotics unit, said:

Zaviceftais an important addition to the arsenal of antibiotics in the global fight against antimicrobial resistance. Effective treatment options are rapidly running out for serious Gram-negative infections. Zavicefta helps bridge that gap and allows a broad population of patients across Europe to benefit from this new medicine.

There have recently been warnings over high levels of antibiotic use resulting in anti-microbial resistance — where drugs are rendered ineffective.

Read more: AstraZeneca buys Spanish firm's respiratory franchise

Ireland has the third highest antibiotic use in the EU behind Malta and Spain with 44 per cent, according to the European Commission.

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