Investing to Fight Toilet and Elevator Superbugs

They're everywhere. Here's how we're fighting back.

Jul 19, 2014 at 3:00PM

A big thank-you to our friends at FierceHealthcare for an incredible story about how a recent study indicated that hospital elevator buttons might have a higher prevalence of bacteria colonization than toilets.

Yes, you read that correctly. Hospital elevator buttons showed a 61% prevalence of bacteria colonization, while only 43% of toilet surfaces were colonized in a study covering three teaching hospitals in Toronto, Ontario.

Of course, this has some unfortunate implications for potential cross-contamination in hospitals, although keep in mind that this study only covered three hospitals during a brief period of time. Still, though, this is another data point in a bigger push for hospitals and other businesses to focus on sanitation and help prevent infections from a variety of bacteria including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcusaureus (also known as MRSA).

Fortunately, new drugs are coming on the market to help fight back against these and other bacteria behind acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (known as ABSSSI for short, and MRSA can be one of the causes). Durata Therapeutics' (NASDAQ:DRTX) Dalvance and Cubist Pharmaceuticals' (NASDAQ:CBST) Sivextro are two newly-approved drugs that can help lead the fight against ABSSSI. Neither is expected to be a blockbuster -- peak sales estimates hover around $400 million each -- but both were brought on the market under the new FDA QIDP (Qualified Infectious Disease Product) designation created to help convince pharma companies to invest more in antibiotics.

In the video below, from Where The Money Is, Motley Fool health care analysts Michael Douglass and David Williamson lay out the opportunity for Durata and Cubist in the ABSSSI space and whether either company has potential as an attractive investment in someone's stock portfolio.

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David Williamson has no position in any stocks mentioned. Michael Douglass has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cubist Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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