THE C DIFF FOUNDATION
INTERNATIONAL RAISING C. diff. AWARENESS CONFERENCE
HIGHLIGHTS — PROMISE & CHALLENGES IN C. diff. TREATMENT
Part 1: Novel Approaches and Therapies in Development
The Centers for Disease Control first recognized C. difficile infection (CDI) as an urgent threat to public health in September 2013. However, I first began to understand the impact on patients in 2008 when I was first diagnosed with Clostridium difficile (C. diff). My journeys, including many months of illness (nine recurrent CDI) which included a referral to hospice care before finally being correctly treated in 2009. Henceforth; I was no stranger to this diagnosis with over two decades of Nursing and witnessing the loss of my Father, whose life was claimed by C. difficile involvement in 2004.
C. diff. has left me with serious health complications. Though I returned to my career as a Nurse for a brief time, I was diagnosed with an entirely new C. diff infection in 2011– enduring nine recurrences through the following year. Another year taken away from C. diff..
Like many other patients, the physical, financial and emotional toll has been great – not only on me, but also on my family. Yet, through my journeys and what I have learned in the process has inspired me to help others affected by C. diff. and share with fellow healthcare professionals through educating and advocating for C. difficile infection prevention, treatments, and environmental safety worldwide.
I was proud to kick off the third annual International Raising C. diff Awareness Conference & Health EXPO in Cambridge, MA last fall. The Annual Conference is one of many important initiatives the C Diff Foundation undertakes to build awareness, advance advocacy and support research to address the public health threat posed by this devastating, life-threatening infection and common healthcare-associated infection.
Through the Conference– the C Diff Foundation offers perspective from world renowned experts on C. difficile infection prevention, treatment and research, with discussions ranging from pharmaceutical options to environmental safety products.
♦ Here are the highlights from our guest speakers ♦
Dr. Mary Beth Dorr, Director of Clinical Research, Infectious Diseases at Merck, presented the most recent data on the company’s C. diff antitoxin, bezlotoxumab. Nearest to potential FDA approval among new options for patients, bezlotoxumab would be used as an adjunct to standard antibiotic regimens for C. diff, with a goal of reducing recurrences—something for which no other drug has been approved.
Merck’s first trial, MODIFY 1 (Monoclonal Antibodies For C. DIFficile Therapy), included 1,412 patients globally. In addition to standard treatment of care, patients received a single intravenous infusion of either the antitoxin actoxumab (binds to the C. diff toxin A) or bezlotoxumab (binds to the C. diff toxin B) alone, or the two in combination, or a placebo.
This study called for a pre-specified interim analysis allowing for modifications in the trial after 40% of patients had completed a 12-week follow-up. As a result, actoxumab alone was dropped from further study as it did not provide added efficacy over bezlotoxumab alone or the combination of bezlotoxumab and actoxumab.
The MODIFY 2 trial evaluated an additional 1,163 patients who received standard antibiotic treatment for C. diff plus either bezlotoxumab alone, or the combination of bezlotoxumab and actoxumab, or placebo. The primary endpoint was prevention of a recurrence of C. diff infection at 12 weeks defined as a new episode of diarrhea and a positive stool test for toxigenic C. diff.
Many of the patients in the trial were quite ill: 17% had severe CDI, 18% had the more virulent PCR ribotype 027 strain, and about 20% were immunocompromised.
For the two studies overall, the rates of recurrent C. diff were significantly less in patients receiving bezlotoxumab alone than placebo (17% vs. 28%). Adverse events were no different in the treatment and placebo groups.
Because there was no benefit to the combination of the two antibodies, bezlotoxumab alone was selected for new drug applications submitted to the US FDA and European Medicines Agency seeking marketing approval.
Ecobiotics — A Novel Approach To Recurrent CDI’s
Fecal microbial therapy, also referred to as FMT or stool transplants, generated much discussion. However; this therapeutic approach aiming to change the gut microbiome, the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms in and on our bodies, is being studied in clinical trials by two of the presenters.
Dr. David Cook, PhD, Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer, Seres Therapeutics, spoke about “ecobiotic therapeutic restoration.” He noted that a dysbiotic, or imbalanced microbiome, is increasingly linked to multiple diseases including C. difficile infection, inflammatory bowel disease, and metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus. ECOSPOR ™ is their current Phase 2 clinical study focused on the safety and efficacy of SER-109, a drug for the potential prevention of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in adults who have had three or more episode of CDI within the previous nine months.
In its Phase 2 study, Seres used spores from the Clostridiales group of organisms, treated to decrease the risk of any pathogen transmission. A small group of patients with > 3 prior CDIs were given two doses of a mixture of strains of spores by mouth and followed up for 8 weeks. In this study, 13 of 15 (87%) patients met the primary endpoint of no recurrent diarrhea associated with a positive test for C. diff.
Another study, using a slightly smaller dose of spores, had the same findings. Overall, 29 of 30 (97%) patients had clinical resolution of their diarrhea; the improvement persisted at 24 weeks. A slightly larger Phase 2 study is underway now and Phase 3 studies are planned for 2016. The drug has received breakthrough and orphan drug designations from the FDA. Seres’ drug also reduced carriage of or colonization by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO), including Klebsiella, Providencia, and Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), all of which are recognized by the CDC as urgent or emerging health threats.
RBX2660 — Therapeutic Microbiota Restoration
Dr. Lee Jones, Foundress and CEO of Rebiotix, presented ongoing studies with RBX2660. Their product, RBX2660, which also aims to restore a gut microbiome altered by CDI, has been designated a drug, rather than a tissue transplant, by the FDA and has received fast track, orphan drug, and breakthrough therapy designations. The liquid microbial suspension packaged for enema delivery is manufactured differently than fecal microbial transplants, and the end-product is standardized and ready for administration.
The initial Phase 2 study, PUNCH™, was open-label and included 30 patients with at least two recurrences of C. diff requiring hospitalization. With a 6-month follow-up period, this trial had an 87% efficacy rate and no recurrences. A second 120 patient randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (PUNCH CD 2) is ongoing. Rebiotix is also developing an oral formulation and planning trials for other indications.
Approaches to vaccination were also discussed at the conference by the companies leading those research initiatives. Mucosal vaccination, to protect people from pathogens that enter or cause harm at the mucosal surface, or lining of our gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts, has been used in developing a variety of vaccines, including polio, typhoid, and experimental influenza vaccinations. Dr. Simon Cutting, PhD, Professor of Molecular Microbiology at
Royal Holloway, University of London, explained the rationale behind this approach and reviewed supporting animal data. If approved, this vaccine would be administered orally.
These studies are still in early development.
Dr. Patricia Pietrobon, Associate Vice President, Research and Development, C. diff Program Leader at Sanofi Pasteur, presented an update on the company’s vaccine, H-030-012, which relies on injection of an inactivated whole toxin to both C. diff toxins A and B. Sanofi’s vaccine showed immunogenicity in patients in Phase 2 studies, and was the first vaccine to be awarded fast track approval by the FDA. Their vaccine showed an antibody response and immunologic boost after a dose at 6 months, suggesting vaccination might confer long-term protection from C. diff. A 15,000 participant, 5-year, global trial is underway, hoping to provide long-term immunity to C. diff.
Several other approaches for C. diff prevention and treatment were presented:
The first, described by Dr. Klaus Gottleib, MD, FACG, Vice President, Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs, Synthetic Biologics, involves use of a beta-lactamase enzyme given orally in combination with a patient receiving a beta-lactam (penicillin or cephalosporin) antibiotic. The antibiotics would still have full efficacy in the blood or soft tissue, but the company’s hypothesis is that the enzyme will destroy unneeded antibiotic in the gut and will prevent
C. diff from developing by reducing alteration in the gut flora.
Their drug, SYN-004, is in Phase 2 trial development.
Dr. Martha Clokie, Ph.D. Leicester UK, Professor in Microbiology. Dr. Cloakie’s research focuses on phages that infect bacterial pathogens of medical relevance and is focusing on targeting C. diff without altering the rest of the microbiome in preclinical studies. Hoping to destroy
C. diff with a biological warfare approach, she focuses on phages, tiny virus-like particles that infect bacteria.
Dr. Melanie Thompson, Ph.D. is studying an older drug used for rheumatoid arthritis, auranofin, in Australia. Auranofin targets the selenium metabolism of C. diff, and is likely to be fairly specific treatment against that bacterium.
Part 2 – Challenges in Testing and Infection Management
Among the key presentations, Dr. Mark Wilcox, MD, FRCPath, Head of Microbiology and Academic Lead of Pathology at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Leeds, lead on Clostridium difficile for Public Health England, and Chairman of the conference, addressed the challenges of diagnosing C. diff.. From knowing who to test, to which test to employ, the state of testing poses challenges in accurately determining the number of CDI cases and in comparing rates over time or between locations.
He raised important questions for the medical community to address:
Dr. Wilcox showed data from the Euclid Study in Europe looking at approximately 4,000 stool samples submitted to participating hospital labs on a given day, whether or not a test for C. diff. was ordered. The data shows that about 25% of cases were missed by the hospitals, but were picked up by a centralized reference lab. On a single day, 246 patients (6.3%) received an incorrect result from their hospital. The translates to about 40,000 cases of CDI missed in Europe alone per year and underscoring that CDI is far more common, and commonly missed than appreciated, making it hard to grasp both the magnitude of the problem and the treat individual patients.
Barley Chironda, RPN, CIC, Manager of Infection Prevention and Medical Device Reprocessing at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada also addressed the topic of testing in acknowledging that some physicians may also be reluctant to order C. diff. tests both because the tests can be hard to interpret, and because there may be perceived disincentives for detecting and reporting the infection . Hospitals can be penalized financially for infections acquired in the hospital as well as receive lower quality of care ratings.
While there is confusion over how to test for C. diff. there is a general understanding as to what we must do to contain the epidemic — use fewer antibiotics. Currently, up to 85% of patients with C. difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) have received antibiotics in the 28 days before their CDI occurred. More than 1/2 of all hospital patients receive an antibiotic, as do almost all surgical patients. Estimates are that 30 – 50% of antibiotic use is unnecessary or inappropriate.
As Dr. Hudson Garrett, Jr., PhD, MSN, MPH, FNP, CSRN, VA-BC, Vice President, Clinical Affairs, PDI, Nice-Pak, and Sani Professional, explained, education of both healthcare workers and patients is needed. Prescribers need to limit antibiotic use to the most specific or narrowest spectrum antibiotic they can, and patients need to learn that antibiotics are not helpful for colds or viral infections.
If use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in hospitals is reduced by 30%, the CDC has estimated there will be 26% fewer CDI’s. Garrett stressed the importance of good leadership and multidisciplinary approach to the success of an antibiotic stewardship program, emphasizing the need for engagement, education and involvement from the top administrators, physicians, pharmacists, and patients,
Another concern is the overuse of the class of antibiotics called quinolones. An especially toxic and severe strain of C. diff. NAP2/027/B1 has been emerging, seemingly driven by the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Quinolones are a widely prescribed class of antibiotics often used in treating pneumonia.
Limiting antibiotics and more appropriate use is not just for people — it is also important in agriculture. There is a growing concern that contaminated products — both meat and produce — may transmit resistant organisms to people and spread C. diff. outside healthcare facilities.
Controlling the spread of C. diff. is a challenge. While previously believed to be strictly a healthcare-associated infection, recent findings show that many patients acquire C. diff. in the community.
As part of his presentation, “Behind the Scenes; C. difficile Management in Health from the lens of an Infection Preventionist, ” Barley Chronda, also reviewed infection control issues, focusing on the importance of cleaning. He noted that 11% of occupants in a hospital room would acquire C. diff. if a prior patient had the infection.
The issues hospitals face include:
The Patient Journey Continues
Nancy Sheridan an Educator and Volunteer Patient Advocate, represented the voice of the many patients who face the challenges of being diagnosed, treated, and surviving a C. diff. infection and shared her experience with the audience. After developing diverticulitis complicated by a perforated colon following an overseas trip. Nancy was treated with antibiotics and developed diarrhea. Though doctors thought she might have a travel – related infection, she insisted on being tested for C. diff. and found C. diff. was causing her severe symptoms. She suffered recurrent C. diff. infections, forcing her to take a leave of absence from her job. In addition to the loss of income and mounting medical bills, she described feeling “defeated and broken.”
Desperate, housebound, in pain, and having a marked weight loss from her recurrent vomiting and bloody diarrhea, she asked for a fecal transplant. Despite multiple refusals, she persisted. Eight months after her ordeal began, Nancy received the stool transplant. She describes her recovery as “miraculous” and within a few weeks, she was back to her teaching and active life. Nancy concluded her story by reminding us that on any given day, 1 of 25 hospitalized patients becomes infected with C. diff. noting “the risk of contracting this deadly infection is too great to remain uninformed.”
That message – from Nancy Sheridan, from the professionals who support us, and the patients who we hear from each day on our U.S. national Hot-Line (1-844-FOR-CDIF) continue to drive us in educating, and advocating for C. diff. infection prevention, treatments, environmental safety, and providing support worldwide.
About The C Diff Foundation
The C Diff Foundation is a leading non-profit organization founded in 2012 by Nancy Caralla, a Nurse who was diagnosed and treated for recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections. Through her own journey, and the loss of her father to C. difficile infection involvement, Nancy recognized the need for greater awareness through education about research being conducted by the government, industry and academia and better advocacy on behalf of patients, healthcare professionals and researchers worldwide working to address the public health threat posed by this devastating infection. Follow the C Diff Foundation on Twitter (@cdiffFoundation) or Facebook. For more information, visit: http://www.cdifffoundation.org/.
2015 International Raising C. diff. Awareness Conference & Health EXPO
Boston, MA, USA ~ November 9th
7:30 a.m – 5:00 p.m
Join us at our 3rd annual International Raising C. diff. Awareness Conference and Health EXPO on November 9th. Not just another educational conference but one that pairs
world-renowned topic experts with presentations on state-of-the-art health care topics pertaining to a leading Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI); C. difficile
*Prevention and Treatment Clinical trials and studies
*Fecal Microbiota Restoration and Transplants
……………………..and much more.
The panel of world-renowned topic experts will also discuss the burden of C. diff. the risk factors pertaining to current and emerging treatment options along with the importance of applying evidence-based clinical approaches to the prevention of a C. diff. infection (CDI), one of the leading Hospital-Acquired Infections.
Clostridium difficile (also known as C. diff.) is an important cause of infectious disease death in the United States. Nearly half a million Americans suffered from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections in a single year according to a study released February 25, 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). • More than 100,000 of these infections developed among residents of U.S. nursing homes alone.* Approximately 29,000 patients died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis of a C. diff. infection. Of these 29,000 – 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly related to a C. diff. infection. Therefore; C. diff. is an important cause of infectious disease death in the U.S. (Source: CDC)
Double Tree Suites Hotel – Boston – Cambridge
400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02134 USA
1-617-783-0090 For Hotel Accommodations * * There are hotel accommodations available for Sunday evening offered at a special event rate for guests of the C Diff Foundation. Please inform the DoubleTree representative at the time of creating a reservation to receive the special event room rate.
Exclusive Admission: $75.00
Student Admission: $50.00
Each exclusive and student ticket includes admission to all presentations, formal and informal Q&A sessions, introductions to fellow healthcare professionals, continental breakfast (7:30 a.m.) , a plated four course luncheon with the choice of Chicken Florentine or Petite Filet Mignon main entree, Access to the Health EXPO, a conference book, a educational DVD, and formal conference program.
NOTE: *Presentations should not be recorded audio or video or published without prior written and signed permission from the guest speaker and addressed by each attendee seeking publication of said presentations.
Key Speaker and Conference Chair: Professor Mark Wilcox; Professor of Medical Microbiology, Leeds Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, UK. Professor Mark Wilcox is a Consultant Microbiologist, Head of Microbiology and Academic Lead of Pathology at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Leeds, and is the Lead on Clostridium difficile for the Public Health England. He has formerly been the Director of Infection Prevention, Infection Control Doctor and Clinical Director of Pathology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
Dr. John Bartlett, MD; Assistant Professor Medicine, UCLA/Sepulveda Veterans Admin Hospital 1972-5, Associate Professor and Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, 1975-80, Professor of Medicine and Chair Division of Infectious Diseases Division, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 1980 – 2006; Professor of Medicine, 2006 – 13; Professor of Medicine emeritus, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2013.Dominant research interests: anaerobic infections and pulmonary infections 1968 – 74; community acquired pneumonia and diagnostic methods, 1974-1980; Bowel prep for elective colon surgery; Protected bronchoscopy brush catheter-1977; Clostridium difficile 1977 – 84, HIV 1983 – 2014; bioterrorism 1999 –2004; Clostridium difficile infection, HIV/AIDS and antibiotic resistance 2006-2013 with Major current interests: Clostridium difficile infection, HIV infection, antibiotic resistance, careers in infectious diseases.
Presentation Topic: “The discovery of Clostridium difficile as the cause of antibiotic-associated colitis.”
Professor Simon M. Cutting, Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Royal Holloway, University of London is a bacterial geneticist with over 25 years of experience with Bacillus since graduating from Oxford University with a D. Phil in 1986. His D.Phil was on understanding the genetic control of spore formation in Bacillus. After spending 7 years in the renowned laboratory of Professor Richard Losick at Harvard University Biological Laboratories (USA) he spent 3 years as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia. He returned to the UK in 1996 and since then has worked on developing bacterial spores as novel oral vaccines at
Royal Holloway, University of London. The Cutting lab has developed a number of prototype oral vaccines and is now entering a ‘first in man’ phase 1/IIa clinical trial of a prototype oral vaccine to Clostridium difficile (see www.cdvax.org). His other expertise is in the use of Bacillus spores as probiotics and has a number of contracts and consultancies with European and US companies in the food and feed sectors (see SporeGen.com).
Presentation Topic: “Mucosal Vaccination: Decolonisation is Essential to Full Protection Against C. difficile“
Dr. Sadeq A. Quraishi, MD, MHA, MMSc Anesthesiologist/Intensive Care physician in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. He is also Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Dr. Quraishi’s overall research goal is to better define how macro- and micro-nutrient status influence outcomes during acute stress and critical illness. In particular, his research group has focused on the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D in the perioperative setting, during acute care hospitalization, and for patients in the intensive care unit. Recently, Dr. Quraishi’s group has identified vitamin D status as a potentially modifiable risk factor for hospital acquired C. diff infections and that the severity of C. Diff infections may also be related to vitamin D status .
Presentation Topic: “Vitamin D as nutritional immunomodulation
for Clostridium difficile infections.”
Dr. Mary Beth Dorr , Phd, studied Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and received a PhD in pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism from the University of North Carolina. For the last 28 years Dr. Dorr has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in various capacities, with the majority of the time devoted to the design and implementation of Phase 1 to 4 clinical trials, primarily for anti-infective products. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Dorr directed several large, international clinical studies of the efficacy and safety of two IV antibiotics, Synercid and dalbavancin. She also directed clinical research programs for gastrointestinal and women’s health products. Mary Beth joined Merck in February 2011 and is currently a Clinical Director in the Late Stage Clinical Development Department as the Clinical Monitor directing 2 large pivotal Phase 3 trials investigating the safety and efficacy of the monoclonal antibodies actoxumab and bezlotoxumab as adjunctive therapy for the prevention of C. difficile recurrence.
Presentation Topic: Bezlotoxumab for Prevention of Recurrent C. difficile Infection in Patients on Standard of Care Antibiotics: Results of Phase 3 Trials (MODIFY I and MODIFY II)
Dr. Hudson Garrett, Jr., PhD, MSN, MPH, FNP, CSRN, VA-BC, CDONA,FACONA,DON-CLTC
Dr. Hudson Garrett is currently employed as the VP, Clinical Affairs for PDI and NIce-Pak, and is responsible for the global Clinical Affairs program and also the Medical Science Liaison program for all divisions within the company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Chemistry and Nursing, a dual Masters in Nursing and Public Health, Post-Masters Certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner, a Post-Masters Certificate in Infection Prevention and Infection Control and a PhD in Healthcare Administration and Policy. He has completed the Johns Hopkins Fellows Program in Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control, and the CDC Fundamentals of Healthcare Epidemiology program, and is board certified in family practice, critical care, vascular assess, moderate sedation, legal nurse consulting, and a director of nursing in long term care. Dr. Garrett is also a Fellow in the Academy of National Associations of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care.
Presentation Topic: Preventing Clostridium difficile thru Antibiotic Stewardship
Dr. David Cook, PhD; A scientist and entrepreneur who has held senior operating and management positions in the biotechnology industry over his 20-year career. Before joining Seres Therapeutics, he was the chief operating officer for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a global R&D organization whose mission is to develop a safe, globally accessible vaccine for HIV. Prior to IAVI, David was the founding CEO at Anza Therapeutics, a biotechnology start-up developing a novel microbial vaccine platform to induce cellular immune responses to fight or prevent diseases such as cancer, hepatitis C, malaria and tuberculosis. He is also a co-inventor on over twenty-five patents. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr Cook is presently Executive Vice President of R&D, Chief Scientific Officer with Seres Therapeutics, Inc.. Presentation Topic: “The role of the microbiome in resisting
C. difficile infection and the mechanism of Ecobiotic drugs.”
Julie Gubb, PhD, CIC, has worked in the field of Infection Prevention in varying roles at healthcare facilities in multiple states for more than two decades. After graduating from the University of Detroit Mercy with a degree in Medical Technology, she began her career as Senior Clinical Microbiologist at an acute care hospital in Detroit, Michigan, where she developed an interest in Infection Control while managing the activities of a full-service microbiology laboratory. She was the Director of Infection Control at Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center in Michigan, and has also held positions in Infection Prevention at healthcare facilities in California and Nevada. As a Senior Infection Preventionist for Xenex, Julie works closely with hospitals throughout the United States to understand their infection prevention goals and develop strategies for attaining those goals. As an active member of the national organization Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology (APIC), she has maintained Board Certification in Infection Control and Epidemiology since 1993 and speaks frequently at APIC chapter meetings.
Presentation Topic: Stand Up for Cleanliness / Enhanced Room Disinfection
Dr. Patricia J. Freda Pietrobon, PhD: Associate Vice President, R&D,
Sanofi Pasteur, has over 25 years of experience in the Vaccine & Diagnostic industries and more then 20 years in leadership roles focusing on research & development of new vaccines. Patricia began her career in diagnostic assay development with a focus on validation and quality alignment to regulatory requirements and GXPs. Patricia has been with Sanofi Pasteur for over 25 years and has contributed to the development and licensure of new bacterial & viral vaccines for pediatric & adult populations worldwide.
Barley Chironda, Manager of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and Medical Device Reprocessing Device at St. Joseph Health Centre in Toronto, Canada. He is certified in Infection prevention and control (CIC TM) and has worked extensively as an Infection Preventionist. Barely has been an integral to the successful decline in Clostridium difficile infections through implementing innovative technology and quality improvement behavioral changes. Barley’s presentation will show a behind the scenes account of the C. diff. management from the healthcare facilities perspective while providing a call to action.
Dr. Martha Clokie, PhD, Leicester UK, Professor in Microbiology. Dr. Cloakie’s research focuses on phages that infect bacterial pathogens of medical relevance and has published 41 papers in this area. Her major focus has been on Clostridium difficile where she has isolated a large phage collection. In vitro and in vivo data has shown that the viruses have therapeutic potential. A patent has been filed on these phages and working with AmpliPhi to develop a product. Dr. Cloakie has regular contact with the BBC and other media to talk about her work, and other phage projects, and has consulted with Science museum, London and Eden Project, UK to advise on bacteriophage displays.
Lee Jones, Founder, President and CEO of Rebiotix Inc, has over thirty years of experience in the medical technology industry in large and small companies and academia. Most recently Lee was Chief Administrative Officer of the Schulze Diabetes Institute at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN and is the former president and chief executive officer of Inlet Medical. Inlet Medical was sold to Cooper Surgical in 2006. Lee will introduce Rebiotix Inc., a biotechnology company founded in 2011 in Roseville, MN to revolutionize the treatment of challenging gastrointestinal diseases by harnessing the power of the human microbiome The company is developing an entirely new kind of biological drug designed to reverse pathogenic processes responsible for disease through the transplantation of live human-derived microbes into a sick person’s intestinal tract.
Presentation Topic: Blazing a Trail with the Gut Microbiome
Professor Nancy Sheridan, a C. diff. Survivor and Associate Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and a winner of the prestigious SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Sheridan will share her personal experience being treated for a painful and extended journey with a C. diff. infection (CDI). Professor Sheridan has been teaching since fall 2000 in the Fashion Merchandising Management Department within the School of Business and Technology. For the past seven years, she has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School to undergraduate and MBA students.
Dr Mel Thomson, PhD, completed her Honors degree in microbiology and immunology at the University of Melbourne . She then immigrated to the UK where she worked on various projects as diverse as allergy and cancer before undertaking further studies. She completed a Masters of Research in functional genomics before reading for a PhD in microbial genetic regulation in Neisseria species, both at University of York, UK. After the award of her PhD, Dr Thomson became interested the host-pathogen interactions at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, UK. Dr Thomson returned to Australia in 2011 to start her own research group studying host-pathogen interactions in the GI tract, at Deakin Medical School. A passionate science communicator, and has recently become a national ‘torch bearer’ for the concept of crowd funding academic research, which a track record of three successful ‘Pozible’ crowd funding campaigns, ‘Mighty Maggots’, ‘Hips 4 Hipsters’ and ‘No more Poo Taboo’
Presentation Topic: “All that glitters is C.diff awareness gold and Crowdfunding: The ‘No more poo taboo’ animation”
Dr Rahma Wehelie – LifeClean International AB – Sweden; LifeClean International AB is a Swedish company with an international orientation that conducts research, development, and production in the spore, bacteria, and virus eliminating industry. LifeClean was established in 2013 after many years of research and the headquarter lies in Uddevalla, Sweden.
Presentation Topic: Dr Wehelie will be discussing LifeClean’s research, development and production eliminating Clostridium difficile, Norovirus, and other multidrug-resistant bacteria
Dr. Klaus Gottlieb, MD, FACG,Synthetic Biologics, Inc.,Vice President, Clinical;Regulatory Affairs Dr. Gottlieb is an experienced board-certified internist and gastroenterologist with a strong clinical science, business and drug development background. He joined Synthetic Biologics after serving as Senior Medical Director-Therapeutic Strategy Lead Gastroenterology of Quintiles, a Fortune 500 company and the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services. At Quintiles, Dr. Gottlieb served as Global Medical Advisor for three separate large Phase 3 inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) trials and provided significant input on the shaping, design and evaluation of numerous IBD and other gastrointestinal (GI) clinical trials throughout all stages of development programs. Prior to joining Quintiles in 2013, he was with the FDA in Silver Spring, MD as a Senior Clinical Reviewer for the Division of Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products. Widely published, his academic contributions have been recognized by an appointment as Professor of Medicine (Clinical) at George Washington University and the following elected fellowships: Fellow American College of Physicians, Fellow American College of Gastroenterology, Fellow American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Presentation Topic: Protecting the Gut Microbiome
For additional information contact the C Diff Foundation: (919) 201-1512 or
We would like to sincerely thank the following Exclusive and Supporting Corporate Sponsors for their continued support and joining the Foundation in
Raising C. diff. Awareness worldwide.