Lefamulin efficacy and safety in a pooled phase 3 clinical trial population with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and common clinical comorbidities

BMC Pulm Med. 2021 May 8;21(1):154. doi: 10.1186/s12890-021-01472-z.


Background: Lefamulin, a first-in-class pleuromutilin antibiotic approved for intravenous and oral use in adults with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP), was noninferior to moxifloxacin in the Lefamulin Evaluation Against Pneumonia (LEAP) 1 intravenous-to-oral switch study and the LEAP 2 oral-only study. Using pooled LEAP 1/2 data, we examined lefamulin efficacy/safety overall and within subgroups of patients presenting with comorbidities typical in CABP management.

Methods: In LEAP 1, adults with CABP were randomized to receive intravenous lefamulin (150 mg every 12 h) for 5‒7 days or moxifloxacin (400 mg every 24 h) for 7 days, with optional intravenous-to-oral switch if predefined improvement criteria were met. In LEAP 2, adults with CABP were randomized to receive oral lefamulin (600 mg every 12 h) for 5 days or moxifloxacin (400 mg every 24 h) for 7 days. Both studies assessed early clinical response (ECR) at 96 ± 24 h after first study drug dose and investigator assessment of clinical response (IACR) at test-of-cure (5‒10 days after last dose). Pooled analyses of the overall population used a 10% noninferiority margin.

Results: Lefamulin (n = 646) was noninferior to moxifloxacin (n = 643) for ECR (89.3% vs 90.5%, respectively; difference - 1.1%; 95% CI - 4.4 to 2.2); IACR success rates at test-of-cure were similarly high (≥ 85.0%). High efficacy with both lefamulin and moxifloxacin was also demonstrated across all well-represented patient subgroups, including those with advanced age, diabetes mellitus, a history of cardiovascular diseases (e.g., hypertension, congestive heart failure, or arrhythmia) or chronic lung diseases (e.g., asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), elevated liver enzymes, or mild-to-moderate renal dysfunction. No new safety signals were identified.

Conclusions: Lefamulin may provide a valuable intravenous/oral monotherapy alternative to fluoroquinolones or macrolides for empiric treatment of patients with CABP, including cases of patients at risk for poor outcomes due to age or various comorbidities.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov LEAP 1 (NCT02559310; Registration Date: 24/09/2015) and LEAP 2 (NCT02813694; Registration Date: 27/06/2016).

Keywords: Antibiotic; Clinical response; Lefamulin; Pleuromutilin; Pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diterpenes / administration & dosage*
  • Diterpenes / adverse effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fluoroquinolones / administration & dosage*
  • Fluoroquinolones / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Moxifloxacin / administration & dosage*
  • Moxifloxacin / adverse effects
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / adverse effects
  • Thioglycolates / administration & dosage*
  • Thioglycolates / adverse effects
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Diterpenes
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • Thioglycolates
  • lefamulin
  • Moxifloxacin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02813694
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02559310