Tetraphase has two suitors, despite struggling market for antibiotics

The market for antibiotics may be “broken,” but one small antibiotic company is seemingly in demand: Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals. In March, the company said it had agreed to be acquired by AcelRx in an all-stock deal valued at $14.4 million. But this week, another drugmaker appears to be courting Tetraphase — La Jolla Pharmaceuticals submitted a non-binding proposal to swallow Tetraphase for $22 million.

At the heart of either deal is Tetraphase’s antibiotic eravacycline (branded as Xerava), which was approved in 2018 for complicated intra-abdominal infections, some four years after the company reported its first batch of pivotal trial data. Last year, the drug generated a mere $3.6 million in net sales.