Zinplava has been launched by MSD in the UK

MSD has launched Zinplava in the UK, offering patients a novel therapeutic option for the prevention of Clostridium difficile recurrence.

Zinplava (bezlotoxumab) is not an antibacterial and is not indicated to actually treat the infection, but is a monoclonal antibody designed to neutralise C. difficile toxin B, which can damage the gut wall and cause inflammation, leading to diarrhoea.

It is the first and only EC licensed non-antibiotic option indicated to prevent recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in high-risk adults.

Around one-in-four patients experience a recurrence after the initial episode, and more than 40 percent of these have further recurrence, highlighting the need for new options able to break the infection cycle.

Pivotal Phase III clinical studies showed the rate of infection recurrence through week 12 to be significantly lower in patients given Zinplava (17.4 percent and 15.7 percent) or Zinplava and actoxumab (15.9 percent and 14.9 percent) than those taking a placebo (27.6 percent) and (25.7 percent), respectively.

“Notably, bezlotoxumab reduces the risk of the recurrence of CDI for at least 3 months, compared with standard of care antibiotic therapy. This is welcome addition to our limited options to reduce the considerable morbidity and mortality associated with CDI,” commented Mark Wilcox, Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Leeds.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a key national issue and we hope with bezlotoxumab to not only help achieve a reduction in the number of recurrent episodes of CDI but also a reduction in the amount of antibiotic prescriptions that would otherwise be needed to treat these recurrent episodes,” added Dr Mike England, MSD’s Interim Medical Director.

Zinplava is administered as a single, one-off, one-hour intravenous infusion alongside standard-of-care antibiotic therapy for the treatment of CDI.