NovaBay CEO Comments on President Obama’s ‘SuperBug’ Budget Initiative and Reports by the CDC on Antibiotic Resistance

By March 6, 2014

NovaBay® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: NBY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing topical non-antibiotic anti-microbial products, today commented on President Obama’s antibiotic resistance budget initiative, which includes $30 million annually for the next five years to detect and prevent “superbug” infections. Superbugs are of great concern because they are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics. Dr. Ron Najafi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NovaBay commented on the worrisome new cases of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and on a plan that NovaBay scientists have developed to successfully fight the superbug threat.

“President Obama is bringing global attention to the dangerous rise of antibiotic resistance. This is important because in many countries antibiotics are dispensed without prescriptions and, in both the U.S. and abroad, used wantonly for veterinary purposes,” commented Dr. Najafi.

“The New England Journal of Medicine has just reported that two patients were infected by a common bacterial strain that has developed resistance against an antibiotic named vancomycin,” continued Dr. Najafi. “This is alarming, because vancomycin is considered to be the antibiotic of last resort. Many of us harbor this bacterium in our intestines, so we have a challenge ahead of us if this bacterium’s genes for resistance continue to spread.”

Dr. Najafi said: “Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control listed antibiotic resistance as the nation’s number two health challenge. At NovaBay we’re passionate about meeting that challenge.”

Some of NovaBay’s scientists have become recognized experts on the issue of antibiotic resistance. One of them, Dr. Dmitri Debabov, recently authored a journal review article describing the problem and its possible solutions. The review paper appeared in a recent issue of Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology. The article describes the many mechanisms bacteria have developed to fight off antibiotics, and makes three key points:

• Bacteria may be winning the arms race. They are developing resistance to drugs faster than humankind can develop new drugs. As a result, the World Health Organization warns, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, where we may not have any treatments for some diseases.

• New government and private incentives are needed to stimulate the development of new drugs that can kill resistant pathogens.

• New drugs are only a part of the answer. We need to be more selective in the overall use of antibiotics and only use them when truly needed. Just as important, we need to find alternatives to traditional antibiotics that microbes can’t develop resistance to. We believe one of those alternatives is a new class of non-antibiotic topical antimicrobials that NovaBay is developing.

“Everyone at NovaBay is committed to finding solutions that  go beyond antibiotics,” explained Dr. Najafi. “On the development side, we believe that our lead compound, auriclosene, has the potential to be invaluable in treating and managing a number of other diseases and conditions topically. And perhaps most important, our portfolio has the potential to strike a blow in this battle against antibiotic resistance.”

About NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.: Going Beyond Antibiotics®
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing the unmet therapeutic needs of the global, topical anti-infective market with its Aganocide® compounds, led by auriclosene. Auriclosene is a new chemical entity invented by NovaBay and has a broad spectrum of activity against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Aganocide compounds are based on the human body’s natural immune system and the molecules involved in combating infections. Bacterial resistance to Aganocides is highly unlikely, as demonstrated in in vitro studies. Once pathogens penetrate the body’s primary defense, the next line of defense is provided by the white blood cells. NovaBay has focused on understanding these molecules generated by the white blood cells and finding ways, by chemical modification, to allow them to be developed as therapeutic products with the potential to treat a wide range of local, non-systemic infections. NovaBay believes that if Aganocides begin to supplement and thereby reduce the usage of classic topical antibiotics, they will help slow the rise of antibiotic resistance.

Forward-looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements and opinions, which are based upon management’s current expectations, assumptions, estimates, projections and beliefs. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the general use of antibiotics in the United States and NovaBay’s possible effect on that use. The words “potential,” “believe” and “will” are intended to identify these forward-looking statements.  Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or achievements to be materially different and adverse from those expressed in or implied by the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties relating to difficulties or delays in development, clinical trial, regulatory approval, production and marketing of the company’s product candidates, unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy of the product candidates, the uncertainty of patent protection for the company’s intellectual property or trade secrets, the company’s ability to obtain additional financing as necessary and unanticipated research and development and other costs. Other risks relating to NovaBay and Aganocide compounds, including risks that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements in this press release, are detailed in NovaBay’s latest Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, especially under the heading “Risk Factors.” The forward-looking statements in this release speak only as of this date, and NovaBay disclaims any intent or obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement except as required by law.

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NovaBay Pharmaceuticals Contacts
Thomas J. Paulson  
Chief Financial Officer
510-899-8809
Contact Thomas Paulson

Ana Kapor
Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
510-899-8889
Contact Ana Kapor

 

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