Biapenem is a new parenteral carbapenem antibacterial agent with a broad spectrum of in vitro antibacterial activity encompassing many Gram-negative and Gram-positive aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, including species producing beta-lactamases. Biapenem is more stable than imipenem, meropenem and panipenem to hydrolysis by human renal dihydropeptidase-I (DHP-I), and therefore does not require the coadministration of a DHP-I inhibitor. After intravenous administration, biapenem is widely distributed and penetrates well into various tissues (e.g. lung tissue) and body fluids (e.g. sputum, pleural effusion, abdominal cavity fluid). In randomised, nonblind or double-blind clinical trials, biapenem showed good clinical and bacteriological efficacy (similar to that of imipenem/ cilastatin) in the treatment of adult patients with intra-abdominal infections, lower respiratory infections or complicated urinary tract infections. Biapenem is generally well tolerated. The most common adverse events in clinical trials were skin eruptions/rashes, nausea and diarrhoea.