Tag Archives: Merck bezlotoxumab

The Latest Developments in C. diff Research and Treatment

 

 

 

 

 

The Program Podcast is Now Available —

Listen at your leisure as our guest, Dr Mary Beth Dorr, PhD, Clinical Director, Clinical Research, Infectious Diseases, and he product development team lead for bezlotoxumab, Merck & Co., Inc.  provided us with an overview of a C. diff. infection, the challenges of recurrence, the latest clinical research overview, current treatment landscape, and pending new C. diff infection treatment guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) that are anticipated to be released fall of 2017.

Click on the C. diff. Spores and More Logo to be connected to the podcast

ZINPLAVA (bezlotoxumab) Is Now Available For Prescription To Reduce Recurrence Of Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI)

MERCKBW2015_medLogoBLK [Converted] (2)

ZINPLAVA (bezlotoxumab) is now available for prescription.

Ordering information is available on the brand website:

http://www.zinplava.com/

What is Zinplava™ ?

ZINPLAVA™ is indicated to reduce recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in patients 18 years of age or older who are receiving antibacterial drug treatment of CDI and are at a high risk for CDI recurrence.

ZINPLAVA is not indicated for the treatment of CDI.

ZINPLAVA is not an antibacterial drug.

ZINPLAVA should only be used in conjunction with antibacterial drug treatment of CDI.

Full prescribing information can be read at

http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zinplava/zinplava_pi.pdf

The Merck Access Program can help answer physician’s questions about:
Insurance coverage for patients
Prior Authorizations and Appeals
Coding and Billing
Potential financial assistance options for eligible patients

Full program details can be found at:

https://www.merckaccessprogram-zinplava.com/hcp/

Also, Information about co-pay assistance for eligible, privately insured patients
Information about available independent assistance foundation support.

 

*PLEASE NOTE – The C Diff Foundation does not endorse any product, medication,  and/or clinical study in progress and available.     All website postings are strictly for informational purposes only.

 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Has Approved Merck’s (MSD) ZINPLAVA ™ (bezlotoxumab) Injection 25mg/ml To Reduce Recurrence Of Clostridium difficile Infection In Patients 18 Years Of Age Or Older

MERCKBW2015_medLogoBLK [Converted] (2)

Merck  known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, on October 22, 2016 announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ZINPLAVA™ (bezlotoxumab) Injection 25 mg/mL.

Merck anticipates making ZINPLAVA available in first quarter 2017.

ZINPLAVA is indicated to reduce recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in patients 18 years of age or older who are receiving antibacterial drug treatment of CDI and are at high risk for CDI recurrence.

ZINPLAVA is not indicated for the treatment of CDI.

ZINPLAVA is not an antibacterial drug. ZINPLAVA should only be used in conjunction with antibacterial drug treatment of CDI.

Please see Prescribing Information for ZINPLAVA (bezlotoxumab) at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zinplava/zinplava_pi.pdf 

 

Patient Information for ZINPLAVA at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zinplava/zinplava_ppi.pdf

CDI is caused by bacteria that produce toxins, including toxin B. Symptoms of CDI include mild-to-severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. The incidence of recurrent CDI is higher in certain patient populations, including people 65 years of age or older and those with compromised immune systems.

“For generations, Merck has been steadfast in its commitment to fighting infectious diseases – and that commitment continues today. ZINPLAVA is a human monoclonal antibody that binds to C. difficile toxin B and neutralizes its effects,” said Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, vice president of clinical development, infectious diseases, Merck Research Laboratories.

Selected safety information about ZINPLAVA

Heart failure was reported more commonly in the two Phase 3 clinical trials in ZINPLAVA-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. These adverse reactions occurred primarily in patients with underlying congestive heart failure (CHF). In patients with a history of CHF, 12.7% (15/118) of ZINPLAVA-treated patients and 4.8% (5/104) of placebo-treated patients had the serious adverse reaction of heart failure during the 12-week study period. Additionally, in patients with a history of CHF, there were more deaths in ZINPLAVA-treated patients [19.5% (23/118)] than in placebo-treated patients [12.5% (13/104)] during the 12-week study period. The causes of death varied, and included cardiac failure, infections, and respiratory failure. In patients with a history of CHF, ZINPLAVA (bezlotoxumab) should be reserved for use when the benefit outweighs the risk.

The most common adverse reactions occurring within 4 weeks of infusion with a frequency greater than placebo and reported in ≥4% of patients treated with ZINPLAVA and Standard of Care (SoC) antibacterial drug therapy vs placebo and SoC antibacterial drug therapy included nausea (7% vs 5%), pyrexia (5% vs 3%) and headache (4% vs 3%).

Serious adverse reactions occurring within 12 weeks following infusion were reported in 29% of ZINPLAVA-treated patients and 33% of placebo-treated patients. Heart failure was reported as a serious adverse reaction in 2.3% of ZINPLAVA-treated patients and 1.0% of placebo-treated patients.

In ZINPLAVA-treated patients, 10% experienced one or more infusion specific adverse reactions compared to 8% of placebo-treated patients, on the day of or the day after, the infusion. Infusion specific adverse reactions reported in ≥0.5% of patients receiving ZINPLAVA and at a frequency greater than placebo were nausea (3%), fatigue (1%), pyrexia (1%), dizziness (1%), headache (2%), dyspnea (1%) and hypertension (1%). Of these patients, 78% experienced mild adverse reactions, and 20% of patients experienced moderate adverse reactions. These reactions resolved within 24 hours following onset.

As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a potential for immunogenicity following administration of ZINPLAVA. The detection of antibody formation is highly dependent on the sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Additionally, the observed incidence of antibody (including neutralizing antibody) positivity in an assay may be influenced by several factors including assay methodology, sample handling, timing of sample collection, concomitant medications, and underlying disease. For these reasons, comparison of the incidence of antibodies to bezlotoxumab in two Phase 3 studies with the incidence of antibodies in other studies or to other products may be misleading. Following treatment with ZINPLAVA in these two studies, none of the 710 evaluable patients tested positive for treatment-emergent anti-bezlotoxumab antibodies.

About bezlotoxumab

Bezlotoxumab was developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s MassBiologics Laboratory in conjunction with Medarex (now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb), and was licensed to Merck in 2009.

Please see Prescribing Information for ZINPLAVA (bezlotoxumab) at http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zinplava/zinplava_pi.pdf 

 

About Merck

For 125 years, Merck has been a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships.

For more information, visit www.merck.com

To read this article in its entirety please click on the following link

http://www.pharmiweb.com/PressReleases/pressrel.asp?ROW_ID=187373#.WAsjR8li9kk

 

*Please note – The C Diff Foundation does not endorse any product and/or clinical study in progress. All website postings are strictly for informational purposes only.

U.S. Panel To the Food and Drug Administration Voted 10-5 In Favor For Merck & Co. ‘s bezlotoxumab Effective At Preventing A Recurrence Of C. diff. Infection

NewsUpdate

 Merck & Co’s experimental drug to treat the most common hospital-associated infectious diarrhea
* Clostridium difficile  *  warrants approval, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday.

 

The panel voted 10-5, with one abstention, that the drug, bezlotoxumab, was effective in preventing a recurrence of infection with Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, a germ that causes inflammation of the colon and potentially fatal diarrhea.

The FDA is not obliged to follow the advice of its advisory panels but typically does.

The panel’s vote follows an internal review by FDA staff which found an apparent decrease in recurrence of C. difficile but expressed concern as to whether the drug could hurt the cure rate of the initial C. difficile episode.

Panelists who voted in favor of the drug acknowledged the FDA’s concerns but said they were persuaded there was a need for new targeted therapies and this one seems effective.

“We haven’t had a new drug for C. difficile in our armamentarium for some time,” Dr. Joanna Schaenman, assistant professor of medicine at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, said.

MORE about bezlotoxumab :   https://cdifffoundation.org/category/clinical-trials/

Merck & Co.   bezlotoxumab was successful in two Phase III trials against the recurrence of

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection when combined with antibiotics.

Currently, there are no therapies approved for the prevention of recurrent disease caused by C. difficile.

Bezlotoxumab’s approval would also make it the first antibody to treat bacterial infection.

Scientists say mAbs would have benefits over small molecule antibiotics because they are less likely to drive antimicrobial resistance and are administered less frequently. “Results of these studies showed that a single, one-time infusion of the antitoxin bezlotoxumab given with standard of care C. difficile antibiotic treatment significantly reduced the recurrence of C. difficile infection compared to standard of care alone, and demonstrated this benefit over a 12-week period,” said lead investigator Mark Wilcox of the University of Leeds, UK. “These results were also demonstrated in patient subgroups known to be at high risk for C. difficile recurrence.”

C. difficile toxin B can damage the gut wall and cause inflammation, leading to the symptoms of C. difficile enteritis, which include abdominal pain and watery diarrhea. Bezlotoxumab, a fully-human monoclonal antibody, was developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s MassBiologics Laboratory with Medarex (now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb), and licensed to Merck in 2009.

The studies   Merck’s studies took more than 1,000 patients each and evaluated them over 12 weeks. Participants received either a single infusion of bezlotoxumab, actoxumab (another mAb designed to fight C. difficile),a combination of the two, or a placebo. The actoxumab arm of the study ended early for efficacy and safety reasons.    Both studies had infection recurrence as their primary endpoint – this rate was significantly lower for the bezlotoxumab arms (17.4% and 15.7%) and bezlotoxumab plus actoxumab arms (15.9% and 14.9%), compared to placebos (27.6% and 25.7%). Actoxumab was found not to provide extra benefit on its own or combined with bezlotoxumab, so Merck’s marketing authorisation application is for bezlotoxumab alone.

The FDA is due to make its decision by July 23.

 

TO READ ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/us-regulatory-panel-backs/2860152.html

C Diff Foundation Shares a Community Of Clinical Studies In Progress Focused On Clostridium difficile (C.diff.) Prevention and Treatments Worldwide

Clinical Studies In Progress To Help You — Help Them — Help Others  ♥

Every scientific research and development, every clinical trial in progress is a glimmer of hope………..HOPE for clinically safe and approved avenues to prevent and treat a
C. difficile infection
.

For More Information — Visit The ClinicalTrials.gov Website

https://clinicaltrials.gov/

ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. Learn more About Clinical Studies and About This Site, including relevant History, Policies, and Laws.

 

Listed below you will find information pertaining to organizations who have active clinical trials in progress.  Click on each organization’s website listed to review their clinical trial study opportunities — Inquire if you or your loved one qualify to participate in their study. 


*Please note:  The C Diff Foundation does not endorse any products and/or clinical study in progress. All website postings are strictly for informational purposes only.

……………………………………………………………….

Here is a list of Clinical Trial Phases:

Clinical trials are conducted in a series of steps, called phases – each phase is designed to answer a separate research question.

  • Phase I: Researchers test a new drug or treatment in a small group of people for the first time to evaluate its safety, determine a safe dosage range, and identify side effects.
  • Phase II: The drug or treatment is given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.
  • Phase III: The drug or treatment is given to large groups of people to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments, and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.
  • Phase IV: Studies are done after the drug or treatment has been marketed to gather information on the drug’s effect in various populations and any side effects associated with long-term use.

Additional Resource Information on clinical trials can be found at http://clinicaltrials.gov/info/resources

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

  C. diff. Infection (CDI)_Prevention on the Horizon

SyntheticBiologics2016LOGO

Synthetic Biologics’ SYN-004 Phase 2b Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trial

 A global, multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the ability of SYN-004 to degrade certain IV beta-lactam antibiotics within the GI tract to maintain the natural balance of the gut microbiome for the prevention of C. difficile infection, C. difficile associated diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea in patients hospitalized for a lower respiratory tract infection and receiving IV ceftriaxone.

Click here to see if there’s a study site in the U.S. near you and if you’re eligible.

Click here to learn more about SYN-004.

Updated: 4/14/2016

………………………………………………………………………

On March 1, 2016: Cdiffense Phase III Trial updates discussed with Doctors of Sanofi Pasteur To listen to the Podcast ~ Click on the Sanofi Pasteur Logo below and enjoy listening to the Sanofi Pasteur “Cdiffense” clinical updates.

SANOFI_Pasteur_RVB

Sanofi Pasteur, one of the leading vaccine manufacturers in the world, is in the midst of its Phase III clinical trial called Cdiffense to study its investigational vaccine to prevent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). The trial is now in more than 20 countries across 5 continents to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of an investigational vaccine for the prevention of primary, symptomatic CDI. The investigational C. diff vaccine is designed to produce an immune response that targets the toxins generated by C. diff bacteria, which can cause inflammation of the gut. The investigative vaccine ultimately may help prevent a future infection from occurring. Volunteers for the study should be age 50 or older and planning an upcoming hospitalization or have had at least two hospital stays and have received systemic antibiotics in the past year. For more information on the Cdiffense trial, please visit www.cdiffense.org

For more information, visit www.cdiffense.org

 WATCH this video to learn more about Clostridium diffiicle and Cdiffense

https://youtu.be/IPunIvOaurA

—————————————————————

DAV-Logo (2)

Da Volterra is a biopharmaceutical company, privately-held and headquartered in Paris (France), focused on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutic and preventive products for Clostridium difficile and multi-resistant infections. Our most advanced product, DAV132, is designed as a prophylactic treatment intended to prevent the development of
C. difficile infection, by binding with and neutralizing common antibiotics in the gut
.
DAV132 decreases the risk of triggering CDI by inactivating residual antibiotics in the colon
before they can disrupt the bacterial flora, without impacting the systemic efficacy of the antibiotics.

It is noteworthy that DAV132 is developed to accompany all oral and intravenous antibiotics of any class and would therefore significantly reduce the risks to acquire C.difficile infections for patients at risk (especially patients who had prior episodes). We see DAV132 as a real game changer for C.difficile prevention.

Have a look at our video presenting the mechanism of action of DAV132:

http://davolterra.com/content/dav132-preventing-occurence-and-recurrence-clostridium-difficile-infections-video

The video is highly illustrative of what C.diff is and how C.diff is triggered.

We have already performed 2 clinical trials with DAV132 and we have a very exciting dataset (both preclinical and clinical) suggesting that DAV132 will very effectively prevent C.diff infections. I would be happy to exchange with you more information on this. Our next clinical trial, in patients actually treated with antibiotics and at-risk of C.diff, will start in Q4 2015 or early 2016.

————————————————————–

Valneva Announces Start of Phase II Clinical Trial of its Clostridium difficile vaccine candidate

  • First Study participant(s) enrolled in Phase II trial which aims to enable Phase III entry upon successful completion
  • Study to enroll 500 healthy subjects aged 50 years and older in the United States and Germany
  • First results are expected in Q4 2015

   Lyon (France), December 18, 2014European biotechnology company Valneva SE (“Valneva”) announced today the initiation of the Phase II clinical trial of its VLA84 prophylactic vaccine candidate against Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), the main cause of nosocomial diarrhea. Data from the Phase I study in healthy elderly and adults showed good safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate, and indicated functionality of induced antibodies, supporting the Company`s decision to progress the vaccine
candidate into Phase II

…………………………………………………………………..

C. diff. Infection (CDI) Treatments On the Horizon

Seres Therapeutics is a clinical-stage therapeutics company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat diseases of the microbiome. The biology of the microbiome is driven by ecologies—the functional collections of various organisms—which are central to health and disease. Seres is developing Ecobiotic® therapeutics to treat diseases where an abnormal (unhealthy) microbiome is a significant factor in the underlying cause of the disease. Our first clinical program, The ECOSPOR Research study is in the treatment of recurrent
Clostridium difficile infection.
About The ECOSPOR Research Study  Although antibiotics are used to treat recurrent
C. difficile infection, most of the time they do not cure C. difficile. In addition, antibiotics continue to wipe out the good bacteria that protect you
against C. difficile. Currently, there are no medications available that can prevent this infection from coming back when your gut is defenseless.

SER-109 is an investigational medicine being developed to prevent recurrent C. difficile from coming back again. The idea is to first treat patients with antibiotics that work against C. difficile so that the diarrhea goes away. Then patients may get SER-109 to keep the C. difficile infection from coming back.

In the ECOSPOR study, doctors will compare SER-109 to a placebo pill, which looks like SER-109. However, the placebo pill will have no medication inside it. Patients will be randomly assigned to receive either SER-109 or placebo. The study is designed to provide more information about the potential safety and effectiveness of SER-109, and will last about 7 months. The results will help doctors and researchers learn whether SER-109 could one day be used to prevent recurrent CDI.

Who Is Eligible For The ECOSPOR Study?
To pre-qualify for this study, a person must:
• Be 18 years of age or older
• Have a history of at least 3 episodes of Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) in the last 9 months, including the current episode
• Not have active irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea within the previous 24 months
All study-related visits, tests, and medication will be provided to the study patients at no cost. In addition, reimbursement for time and travel may be provided.

How to Enroll in the study?   The ECOSPOR Study is now open for enrollment. It is posted on ClinicalTrials.gov.All the sites which are enrolling patients are listed on clinicaltrials.gov, including contact information for the sites. If a doctor in the study thinks you may be a good candidate, you will be given complete information about the study including everything you should know before you join.  You can also contact clinicalstudies@sereshealth.com to find a doctor near you who is involved in the study.

To LISTEN to Dr. Shelley Trucksis, Ph.D., M.D., and Dr. David Cook, Ph.D. discuss “Ecobiotics- A Novel Approach to Recurrent C. difficile infections”  Click on the Seres Therapeutics Logo below:

seres-therapeutics-inc-logo

Seres Therapeutics, a leading microbiome therapeutics company, which recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, positive results from an open-label Phase 1b/2 study of SER-109 for the treatment of patients with recurrent C. difficile infections (CDI). Seres Therapeutics is creating a new class of medicines to treat diseases resulting from functional deficiencies in the microbiome, a condition known as dysbiosis. New insights into the human microbiome are fundamentally reshaping how we understand and treat a wide range of diseases, creating new possibilities for patients not served by current therapeutic approaches. Ecobiotics are ecological compositions of beneficial organisms that are designed to reestablish a healthy microbiome. The discovery efforts at Seres Therapeutics currently span metabolic, inflammatory, and infectious diseases. 2016

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

summit

Summit Therapeutics  has reported ‘outstanding’ results in the phase II trial of ridinilazole, its new C.difficile infection (CDI) treatment.

During the trial, the new oral antibiotic significantly outperformed vancomycin, the current standard prescription, which was the primary objective said Summit.

Over two-thirds (66.7%) of those treated showed a sustained clinical response (SCR) against 42.4% for vancomycin.

The statistical superiority was driven by a large numerical reduction in recurrent disease compared with vancomycin, which Summit said was key as recurrence is one of the hardest things to stop.

C.difficile or CDI is a growing danger for patients in hospital, care homes and the wider community.

Annually, there are between 450,000 and 700,000 cases in the US alone, with the elderly and sick especially vulnerable.

One study has suggested it costs US $4.8bn to treat these people.

“The healthcare community is acutely aware of the major threat CDI poses, particularly given widespread antibiotic use and our aging population,” said Glyn Edwards, Summit’s chief executive.

The biggest unmet need in CDI treatment is reduce recurring cases, he added and the results from the latest trial had exceeded its ‘wildest expectations’.

“These outstanding clinical data from CoDIFy strongly support the profile of ridinilazole as a narrow spectrum antibiotic.

“There is a vital need for potent new antibiotics, and the potential of ridinilazole has attracted great interest.

Edwards added that the results from the CoDIFy trial were exceptionally encouraging and the aim no is to advance ridinilazole into Phase 3 clinical trials.

Here, the company would evaluate partnership opportunities against the benefit of it forward itself, he added.

Professor Mark Wilcox, at Leeds University and Public Health England’s lead consultant on C.difficile added that the latest data indicated ridinilazole could become an important new treatment option for CDI with the potential to reduce the high rates of recurrent disease that remain a key clinical challenge.

CoDIFy was a double blind, randomised, active controlled, multicentre, Phase II clinical trial that evaluated the efficacy of ridinilazole against vancomycin in 100 patients in the US and Canada.

Results from a second CoFIFy trail are due next year, though Edwards said the results announced today would provide the bulk of the quantitative data.

ridinilazole has already received Qualified Infectious Disease Product, or QIDP, designation and has been granted Fast Track status from the US Food and Drug Administration

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

rebiotixlogo

Rebiotix Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company founded to revolutionize the treatment of debilitating diseases by harnessing the power of the human microbiome. Microbiota Restoration Therapy (MRT) is the company’s platform for delivering live microbes into a sick patient’s intestinal tract to treat disease.

Clinical Program
PUNCH™ CD is the name of Rebiotix’s clinical program to assess the safety and efficacy of RBX2660 for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infection. It is the most advanced human clinical program evaluating a microbiota-based drug conducted in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the goal of developing and commercializing a new therapy to treat patients with recurrent episodes of C. diff. infection. Rebiotix has completed enrollment its PUNCH CD 2 study and continues to assess the safety and efficacy of RBX2660.

PUNCH™ CD 2
Rebiotix has completed enrollment in its PUNCH CD 2 study, a Phase 2B multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate RBX2660 for the treatment of recurrent C. diff. infection. A total of 117 patients recruited at more than 20 sites in the U.S. and Canada were enrolled in the study, which is the largest randomized controlled study of a MRT for recurrent C. diff. to date.

In this study, the patients received either the microbiota-based drug or a placebo via enema. Neither the doctor nor the patients knew what treatment was received in order to get an unbiased measurement of the drug’s true effectiveness. If a patient’s C. diff. infection symptoms returned, even if they were in the placebo arm of the study, they may have been eligible to receive RBX2660. This is referred to as the open-label portion of the study.

PUNCH™ CD
The PUNCH CD study, which was a Phase 2 open label safety and preliminary efficacy study of RBX2660, was successfully completed in July 2014. An open label study means everyone enrolled in the study got the treatment and it is generally the first phase of a new product development program. The study demonstrated a success rate of 87% for those treated with no serious adverse events related to either the product or the method of delivery.

Product Pipeline
Rebiotix is currently exploring the feasibility of an oral formulation, RBX7455, for the prevention of C. diff.

In addition, Rebiotix is leveraging their years of knowledge and experience to develop MRT applications for other conditions that result from disruption of the gut microbiota.

For more information on Rebiotix and the PUNCH CD and PUNCH CD 2 studies go to:
http://www.rebiotix.com or clinicaltrials.gov.

Caution: Drug products are in development and investigational at this time. No product has yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

MERCKBW2015_medLogoBLK [Converted] (2)

Merck & Co. will file the first antibacterial monoclonal antibody by the end of 2015, the company says.

bezlotoxumab was successful in two Phase III trials against the recurrence of

Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection when combined with antibiotics.

Merck plans to file new drug applications for the monoclonal antibody in the US, Canada and EU by the end of the year. Currently, there are no therapies approved for the prevention of recurrent disease caused by C. difficile.

Bezlotoxumab’s approval would also make it the first antibody to treat bacterial infection.

Scientists say mAbs would have benefits over small molecule antibiotics because they are less likely to drive antimicrobial resistance and are administered less frequently. “Results of these studies showed that a single, one-time infusion of the antitoxin bezlotoxumab given with standard of care C. difficile antibiotic treatment significantly reduced the recurrence of C. difficile infection compared to standard of care alone, and demonstrated this benefit over a 12-week period,” said lead investigator Mark Wilcox of the University of Leeds, UK. “These results were also demonstrated in patient subgroups known to be at high risk for C. difficile recurrence.”

C. difficile toxin B can damage the gut wall and cause inflammation, leading to the symptoms of C. difficile enteritis, which include abdominal pain and watery diarrhea. Bezlotoxumab, a fully-human monoclonal antibody, was developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s MassBiologics Laboratory with Medarex (now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb), and licensed to Merck in 2009.

The studies   Merck’s studies took more than 1,000 patients each and evaluated them over 12 weeks. Participants received either a single infusion of bezlotoxumab, actoxumab (another mAb designed to fight C. difficile),a combination of the two, or a placebo. The actoxumab arm of the study ended early for efficacy and safety reasons.    Both studies had infection recurrence as their primary endpoint – this rate was significantly lower for the bezlotoxumab arms (17.4% and 15.7%) and bezlotoxumab plus actoxumab arms (15.9% and 14.9%), compared to placebos (27.6% and 25.7%). Actoxumab was found not to provide extra benefit on its own or combined with bezlotoxumab, so Merck’s marketing authorisation application is for bezlotoxumab alone.

MERCK2015_Logo_3282_2f432 (2)

To Listen to the Podcast — MERCK’s Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis discusses the many contributions of Merck and ongoing research addressing CDI  — and  the history in addressing infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance. Dr. Nick Kartsonis also  discusses the future in the area of C. diff. and some of the company’s current treatments, including DIFICID and their ongoing research addressing CDI  Click on the MERCK Logo Above *

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

DIFICID (fidaxomicin) is currently FDA approved to treat Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) in adult patients 18 years of age and older.

Currently, clinical trials are ongoing to assess the efficacy and safety of DIFICID, in either a tablet and oral suspension formulation, in pediatric patients with CDAD.  **  In addition, DIFICID is currently in clinical trials to determine the efficacy of use as a prophylaxis against CDAD in adult patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

XBiotech is a biotech company located in Austin, Texas and was founded on the concept of the “True Human Antibody”.  Antibodies are specialized proteins, which are produced by the immune system.  Their function is to bind to a very specific target, such as a virus or bacteria, and aid in the elimination of these targets by the immune system.  Monoclonal antibodies were developed as a class of drug, which use the specific targeting function of the antibody to target substances that cause disease. Currently approved monoclonal antibodies however, are developed in the laboratory or in mice.  XBiotech’s approach is to isolate antibodies that are present naturally in healthy human donors, and develop these into products that can be used to treat disease.  We believe that antibodies isolated from humans, will be safer and will function better than so called antibodies marketed as “fully human”, which are in fact engineered.

Over the past decade, Clostridium difficile (C. diff) has emerged as a significant public health threat.  In fact, the CDC has designated it as an “Urgent threat level.”

In October 2015, XBiotech announced it had set out to develop a first-in-class oral monoclonal antibody against C. diff infection. Just two weeks after this announcement, the Company reported it had already identified positive blood samples for anti-clostridium difficile antibodies after screening blood donations from healthy volunteers.

XBiotech’s plans to develop an antibody therapy that directly targets and neutralizes the bacteria. The Company intends to deliver the therapy orally, targeting C. diff in the gastrointestinal tract, where the antibody could reduce the bacteria’s ability to establish debilitating or life threatening infections.

XBiotech

Click on the XBiotech LOGO to the left  to listen to the February 2016  XBiotech Podcast which introduces XBiotech, developer of True Human(TM) therapeutic antibodies. XBiotech has an exciting pipeline of product candidates in various areas of medicine. The Company recently announced the launch of a research and development program to develop a first-in-class oral monoclonal antibody against Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) infection. The Company will discuss the need for an effective C.difficile therapy, their novel approach to treating the disease as well as efficiency in their manufacturing technology. Join guests: Dr. Michael Stecher, Medical Director, Dr. Sushma Shivaswamy, Vice President of Research and Development, and Kelly Thornburg, Senior Vice President of Operations, as they discuss how XBiotech is pioneering a new era in the discovery and development of targeted antibodies therapeutics.

For more information please contact the Company by emailing info@xbiotech.com or calling 512-386-2900.    www.xbiotech.com