Trius Therapeutics, one of a handful of San Diego-based biotechs developing drugs that target antibiotic-resistant bacteria, has filed for an initial public offering. The Friday filing, first reported by Xconomy, is one of only three IPOs filed by San Diego companies this year.

Trius is in clinical trials with a drug that targets antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA. The company hopes to raise as much as $86 million, according to the filing. It will use the money for late-stage clinical trials it plans to begin in 2010.

Last week I wrote about how the burden of developing drugs that fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which kill tens of thousands annually, has fallen largely to biotechs such as Trius. Large pharmaceutical companies have, for the most part, determined that they are not profitable enough.

It is clear from the filing that Trius believes the market for a new generation of antibiotics is strong and getting stronger. The company said total U.S. sales for antibiotics targeting MRSA that are currently on the market grew from $778 million in 2005 to $1.4 billion in 2008.


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