Cubist aims for $2B in sales amid dearth of new antibiotics

Cubist Pharmaceuticals ($CBST) hopes to ride a wave of drug-resistant infections to $2 billion in sales by 2017. The company said its Cubicin antibiotic, targeted at difficult-to-treat skin and bloodstream infections, will account for at least half of those sales.

Unveiling its 5-year growth plan, the U.S.-based company said that it's looking for U.S. sales of Cubicin to "well exceed" $1 billion by the end of 2017, up from $698.8 million last year. The drug's 2011 sales worldwide came in at about $735.5 million, the lion's share of its revenue for the year.

Cubist also expects to gain from its newly acquired Entereg drug; it's looking for that franchise to deliver $100 million annually in 5 years. The company says the rest of that 22% annual growth rate will come from pipeline drugs, which it expects to file for approval every 18 months or so. It's not expecting a big bump from M&A, though it does look for additional drug candidates from buyouts and licensing.

Cubicin is approved to treat certain drug-resistant staph infections--caused by the dreaded MRSA--at a time when resistant diseases are cropping up around the globe. Cubist also has a drug candidate targeted at so-called gram-negative bacteria, an area where there's a dearth of new treatments. Analysts have said that the late-stage drug could well be a blockbuster if it wins approval.

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