CARB-X today announced an award of up to $1.26 million to Facile Therapeutics of Belmont, California, to develop a new oral drug for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections.Facile Therapeutics of Belmont, California, to develop a new oral drug for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections.
The money will help fund preclinical development of Ebselen, a small-molecule anti-toxin that inhibits a key biochemical function of C difficile toxins A and B, which attack the lining of the intestine. Previous studies showed Ebselen provided protection against severe intestinal damage in mice after they were exposed to virulent C difficile infections. The drug has also been tested in humans in clinical trials for stroke, and although it was not approved for that indication, it was shown to be safe.
“This is a terrific example of an attempt to repurpose a compound for use in the infectious-disease arena,” CARB-X chief of research and development Erin Duffy, PhD, said in a press release. “If successful and ultimately approved for use in patients, Facile’s project could represent tremendous progress in the prevention of recurrent C. difficile infections, and save many lives.”
C difficile infections are traditionally treated with antibiotics, which can cure the infection but also further disrupt the microbiome and clear a path for C difficile bacteria to spread, leading to recurrent infections. At least 20% of patients who get an initial C difficile infection have a recurrent infection.
Facile could receive an additional $17 million if the project achieves certain milestones.
Since its launch in 2016, CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) has awarded more than $222 million to companies developing new treatments and diagnostics for drug-resistant pathogens.
May 18 CARB-X press release