Safety and Pharmacokinetic Characterization of Nacubactam, a Novel β-Lactamase Inhibitor, Alone and in Combination with Meropenem, in Healthy Volunteers

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Apr 21;64(5):e02229-19. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02229-19. Print 2020 Apr 21.


Nacubactam is a novel β-lactamase inhibitor with dual mechanisms of action as an inhibitor of serine β-lactamases (classes A and C and some class D) and an inhibitor of penicillin binding protein 2 in Enterobacteriaceae The safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of intravenous nacubactam were evaluated in single- and multiple-ascending-dose, placebo-controlled studies. Healthy participants received single ascending doses of nacubactam of 50 to 8,000 mg, multiple ascending doses of nacubactam of 1,000 to 4,000 mg every 8 h (q8h) for up to 7 days, or nacubactam of 2,000 mg plus meropenem of 2,000 mg q8h for 6 days after a 3-day lead-in period. Nacubactam was generally well tolerated, with the most frequently reported adverse events (AEs) being mild to moderate complications associated with intravenous access and headache. There was no apparent relationship between drug dose and the pattern, incidence, or severity of AEs. No clinically relevant dose-related trends were observed in laboratory safety test results. No serious AEs, dose-limiting AEs, or deaths were reported. After single or multiple doses, nacubactam pharmacokinetics appeared linear, and exposure increased in an approximately dose-proportional manner across the dose range investigated. Nacubactam was excreted largely unchanged into urine. Coadministration of nacubactam with meropenem did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetics of either drug. These findings support the continued clinical development of nacubactam and demonstrate the suitability of meropenem as a potential β-lactam partner for nacubactam. (The studies described in this paper have been registered at under NCT02134834 [single ascending dose study] and NCT02972255 [multiple ascending dose study].).

Keywords: beta-lactam; beta-lactamase inhibitor; meropenem; multiple ascending dose; nacubactam; pharmacokinetics; phase I; single ascending dose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Area Under Curve
  • Azabicyclo Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Azabicyclo Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Interactions
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactams / adverse effects*
  • Lactams / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Meropenem / adverse effects*
  • Meropenem / pharmacokinetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Safety
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Lactamase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • beta-Lactamase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azabicyclo Compounds
  • Drug Combinations
  • Lactams
  • beta-Lactamase Inhibitors
  • nacubactam
  • Meropenem

Associated data