BACKGROUND: LB20304(gemifloxacin) is a new fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent with excellent activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms. In vitro studies using clinical isolates have shown gemifloxacin to be highly active against penicillin-resistant strains of S. pneumoniae and in contrast to other reference quinolones, gemifloxacin retained good activity against clinical isolates of S. pneumoniae that were resistant to other members of the quinolone class. Therefore, gemifloxacin is thought to be effective in treating acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis(AECB). The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral gemifloxacin at doses of 160mg or 320mg once daily for 7 days for the treatment of AECB in Korean adult population. METHODS: This was a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, parallel group Phase II study to assess the clinical and antibacterial efficacy and safety of oral gemifloxacin for the treatment of AECB. Treatment Group A (67 patients) took oral gemifloxacin 160mg once daily for seven days and treatment Group B (70 patients) took oral gemifloxacin 320mg once daily for seven days. RESULTS: The demographic profiles of the two treatment groups were similar. The clinical response at follow-up was 84.2% in the gemifloxacin 160-mg group, and 88.7% in the gemifloxacin-320 mg group, showing no statistically significant difference between two treatment groups(p=0.49). The clinical response at the end of therapy was 96.5% in the 160-mg group, and 96.4% in the 320-mg group. The bacteriological response at the end of therapy and follow-up were 81.8% and 78.9%, respectively, in the 160-mg group, and 86.4% and 84.2%, respectively, in the 320-mg group, showing no statistically significant difference between two treatment groups(p=0.68 and 0.68, respectively). S. pneumoniae(12 isolates) and H. influenzae(10 isolates) were the most prevalent pathogens. The MICs were lower for gemifloxacin than other quinolones against these key pathogens, and for S. pneumoniae, the MICs for gemifloxacin were considerably lower(< or = 0.03 ug/mL) than those for other quinolones, beta-lactams and acrolides. In the period on-therapy plus 30 days post-therapy, a total of 18 patients(26.9%) in the gemifloxacin 160mg group and 22 patients(31.4%) in the 320mg group reported at least one adverse event(AE). The most frequently reported AE was abdominal pain(3/67 patients, 4.5%) in the gemifloxacin 160mg group and increased level of hepatic enzyme(5/70 patients, 7.1%) in the 320mg group. The overall AE profiles for the two treatment groups were similar. Two out of 67 patients(3.0%) in the gemifloxacin 160mg group and 1/70 patients(1.4%) in the 320mg group reported at least one serious AE, however, none of which was considered by the investigator to be of suspected or probable relationship to study medication. CONCLUSION: The results of this study showed that gemifloxacin at doses of 160mg or 320mg once daily for 7 days in the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis(AECB) in adult Koreans was a very effective and safe treatment both clinically and bacteriologically.