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Novartis has agreed to acquire Protez Pharmaceuticals, a Malvern, Pa.-based firm that is developing PZ-601, a new antibiotic in a class of agents known as carbapenems. According to Novartis, PZ-601 may be better than existing antibiotics against pernicious bacteria strains, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Novartis is paying $100 million for Protez and could pay its owners another $300 million depending on the success of the drug, which is now in Phase II clinical trials.
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