What’s this? A rival bidder heads back to the table with a better offer for Tetraphase. Antibiotics show faint signs of life

The unlikely bidding war for antibiotic maker Tetraphase isn’t over.

After AcelRx got the auction started with an offer to buy the failed biotech — which has been struggling to sell even modest amounts of their antibiotic Xerava — for $14 million, La Jolla Pharmaceutical and Melinta have been engaged in a round of counter-bids.

Now La Jolla, unwilling to let Melinta walk away with the antibiotic for a mere $39 million plus a $16 million CVR, has come back with a $43 million offer plus a $16 million CVR of their own.

Tetraphase’s board sat down on Sunday to consider the latest offer and decided it would nix the Melinta deal if they can’t come up with more. And Melinta has until Friday to get the new offer in.

Antibiotics companies like Tetraphase have folded up like cheap chairs in the face of a tough market, where new antibiotics are fielded with