ContraFect drug candidate aimed at Staph infections gets special FDA review designation

Federal regulators have approved expedited development and review of early-stage drug program aimed at creating a treatment for drug-resistant infections at ContraFect Corp., the company said Monday.

Shares jumped 5 percent at the opening bell.

The designation for drug candidate CF-301 will allow the company to work more closely with the Food and Drug Administration during the testing process, allowing for more rapid development. The drug candidate could also receive priority review.

CF-301 is currently in Phase 1 development, which typically focuses mainly on a drug's potential safety profile. Larger studies later in the development process focus on a drug's effectiveness.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are infections that are resistant to antibiotics. They are commonly called Staph infections or MRSA's, and are a constant danger in hospitals and nursing homes for people with weakened immune systems.

Shares of the Yonkers, New York, drugmaker rose 24 cents to $4.80.