FOCUS 1: a randomized, double-blinded, multicentre, Phase III trial of the efficacy and safety of ceftaroline fosamil versus ceftriaxone in community-acquired pneumonia

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2011 Apr:66 Suppl 3:iii19-32. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkr096.


Objectives: Ceftaroline, the active form of the prodrug ceftaroline fosamil, is a novel cephalosporin with bactericidal activity against important pathogens associated with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), including Streptococcus pneumoniae and common Gram-negative pathogens. FOCUS 1 is a randomized, double-blinded, Phase III study that was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ceftaroline fosamil in treating patients with CAP. The primary objective was to determine non-inferiority [lower limit of 95% confidence interval (CI) ≥ -10%] in clinical cure rates achieved with ceftaroline fosamil compared with those achieved with ceftriaxone in the clinically evaluable (CE) and modified intent-to-treat efficacy (MITTE) populations.

Methods: Patients hospitalized in a non-intensive care unit setting with CAP of Pneumonia Outcomes Research Team (PORT) risk class III or IV requiring intravenous (iv) therapy were randomized (1:1) to receive 600 mg of ceftaroline fosamil iv every 12 h or 1 g of ceftriaxone iv every 24 h. Patients also received two 500 mg doses of oral clarithromycin every 12 h administered on day 1. Clinical cure, microbiological response, adverse events (AEs) and laboratory tests were assessed. FOCUS 1 registration number NCT00621504 (

Results: Of 613 enrolled patients, 298 received ceftaroline fosamil and 308 received ceftriaxone. Baseline characteristics between treatment groups were comparable. Clinical cure rates were as follows: CE population, 86.6% (194/224) for ceftaroline fosamil and 78.2% (183/234) for ceftriaxone [difference (95% CI), 8.4% (1.4, 15.4)]; and MITTE population, 83.8% (244/291) for ceftaroline fosamil and 77.7% (233/300) for ceftriaxone [difference (95% CI), 6.2% (-0.2, 12.6)]. Clinical cure rates for CAP caused by S. pneumoniae in the microbiological MITTE population were 88.9% (24/27) and 66.7% (20/30) for ceftaroline fosamil and ceftriaxone, respectively. Both agents were well tolerated, with similar rates of AEs, serious AEs, deaths and discontinuations because of an AE. The most common AEs for ceftaroline fosamil-treated patients were diarrhoea, headache, insomnia and nausea, and the most common AEs for ceftriaxone-treated patients were hypokalaemia, hypertension, nausea and diarrhoea.

Conclusions: Ceftaroline fosamil demonstrated high clinical cure and microbiological response rates in hospitalized patients with CAP of PORT risk class III or IV. Ceftaroline fosamil was well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to that of ceftriaxone and consistent with the cephalosporin class. In this study, ceftaroline fosamil was an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for CAP.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Ceftaroline
  • Ceftriaxone / administration & dosage
  • Ceftriaxone / adverse effects
  • Cephalosporins / administration & dosage*
  • Cephalosporins / adverse effects*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cephalosporins
  • Ceftriaxone

Associated data