As Season II concludes, we wish to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each
and every guest for taking time out of their
busy schedule and joining us on Tuesday’s at
10:00a Pacific Time / 1:00p Eastern Time over the past seven months.
C. diff. Spores and More Global Broadcasting Network will be taking a break and will return to live broadcasting on January 17th, 2017 with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) leading the way with our guest Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra, Medical Officer, CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship.
A Prescription for Over-Prescribing: The Key to Fighting
Dr. Fleming-Dutra is a medical epidemiologist with the Office of Antibiotic Stewardship in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Fleming-Dutra is a pediatrician and pediatric emergency medicine physician and has focused on infectious diseases epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship in the outpatient setting in her career at CDC.
Join Dr. Fleming-Dutra as she discusses a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, was released showing that at least 30 percent of all prescriptions written in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms are completely unnecessary. So how do we use these alarming results to transform the culture of over-prescribing Dr. Katherine Fleming-Dutra, M.D., will:
Give a detailed explanation of the study results, and provide an in-depth review of specific findings;
Highlight what CDC is doing to promote antibiotic stewardship across healthcare settings, and
Identify what clinicians, other health care professionals, and patients can do to improve antibiotic prescribing, therefore fighting antibiotic resistance.
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Hard Facts: Deaths and illnesses are much higher than reports have shown. Nearly half a million Americans suffered from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections in a single year according to a study released today, 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.
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.
Previous studies indicate that C. diff. has become the most common microbial cause of Healthcare-Associated Infections found in U.S. hospitals driving up costs to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs in acute care facilities alone. Approximately
two-thirds of C. diff. infections were found to be associated with an inpatient stay in a health care facility, only 24% of the total cases occurred in patients while they were hospitalized. The study also revealed that almost as many cases occurred in nursing homes as in hospitals and the remainder of individuals acquired the
Healthcare-Associated infection, C. diff., recently discharged from a health care facility.
This new study finds that 1 out of every 5 patients with the Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI), C. diff., experience a recurrence of the infection and 1 out of every 9 patients over the age of 65 diagnosed with a HAI – C. diff. infection died within 30 days of being diagnosed. Older Americans are quite vulnerable to this life-threatening diarrhea infection. The CDC study also found that women and Caucasian individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring a C. diff. infection. The CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, MD, MPH said, “C. difficile infections cause immense suffering and death for thousands of Americans each year.” “These infections can be prevented by improving antibiotic prescribing and by improving infection control in the health care system. CDC hopes to ramp up prevention of this deadly infection by supporting State Antibiotic Resistance Prevention Programs in all 50 states.”
“This does not include the number of C. diff. infections taking place and being treated in other countries.” “The C Diff Foundation supports hundreds of communities by sharing the Foundation’s mission and raising C. diff. awareness to healthcare professionals, individuals, patients, families, and communities working towards a shared goal ~ witnessing a reduction of newly diagnosed C. diff. cases by 2020 .” ” The C Diff Foundation volunteer Advocates are greatly appreciated and continue to create positive changes by sharing their time aiding in the success of our mission “Raising C. diff. awareness ” worldwide.
“C. diff. Spores and More “ spotlights world renowned topic experts, research scientists, healthcare professionals, organization representatives, C. diff. survivors, board members, and their volunteers who are all creating positive changes in the
C. diff. community and more.
Through their interviews, the C Diff Foundation mission will connect, educate, and empower listeners worldwide.
Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP, Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice Head for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.
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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.
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.
On March 1, 2016: Cdiffense Phase III Trial updates discussed with Doctors of Sanofi PasteurTo listen to the Podcast ~ Click on the Sanofi Pasteur Logo below and enjoy listening to the Sanofi Pasteur “Cdiffense” clinical updates.
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
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:
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.
ValnevaAnnounces 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, 2014 – European 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 onClinicalTrials.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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, 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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Who should be tested?
Which tests should be used?
How do we measure accuracy between tests in order to compare infection rates over time and by location?
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:
A lack of dedicated equipment which may allow for the spread of C. diff. spores on items like stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs;
Isolation for patients with diarrhea or incontinence with consideration for patient symptoms, hospital costs and appropriate patient care;
Lack of clarity re: responsibility for cleaning specific items, and what type of cleaning agent to use, as many products do not inactivate spores. Clorox ® and UV-C Xenon, a high-energy, full spectrum pulsed Xenon Ultraviolet Light by Xenex — both sponsors of the Conference, were addressed as options for CDI and a variety of multi-drug resistant organisms.
Hand-washing (Hand Hygiene) as many hospitals lack conveniently placed sinks and rely on alcohol hand sanitize gels and solutions,. While alcohol is great for reducing most bacterial contamination, it is ineffective against C. diff. spores.
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/.
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This episode we will introduce 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.
Join Guests: Dr. Guy de Bruyn, MD – Director for Clinical Development at Sanofi Pasteur, overseeing a large phase III vaccine trial for the prevention of Clostridium difficile infection in some 19 countries on 5 continents around the world that started in the U.S. in 2013.
Dr. Christian Felter, MD – Associate VP, Global Medical Expert for Nosocomial Vaccines for Sanofi Pasteur based in Lyon, France. His focus is on their investigative Clostridium difficile vaccine. Dr. Felter has 11 years of experience in medical affairs roles in the US and Europe, covering therapeutic areas including Immunology, Rheumatology, and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Patricia J. Freda Pietrobon, PhD – Associate Vice President, Research & Development Sanofi Pasteur 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.
Join us as we introduce Sanofi Pasteur and discuss updates focused on
Cdiffense trial to evaluate vaccine against a leading cause of life-threatening
The Following is a Press Released Produced By Sanofi Pasteur
January 7, 2016: Tokyo, Japan – Sanofi K.K. Headquarters; Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo: President: Fabrice Baschiera announced on January 7th, 2016 that Sanofi Pasteur; the vaccines division of Sanofi, started the initiation of its Phase III clinical program in Japan called Cdiffense to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of an investigational vaccine for the prevention of symptomatic Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Clostridium difficile (C. diff. ) is a potentially life-threatening, spore-forming bacterium that causes intestinal disease.
The risk of CDI increases with age, antibiotic treatment and time spent in hospitals or nursing homes, where multiple cases can lead to outbreaks. The investigational vaccine is designed to help protect at-risk individuals from CDI, which is emerging as a leading cause of life-threatening , healthcare-associated infections (HAI’s) worldwide.
Since 20 to 30 percent of patients experience recurrances of CDI, re-hospitalizations and longer hospital stays remain common (2) Although relatively few studies on C. difficile have been performed in Asia, what work has been done demonstrates that CDI is a significant cause of nosocomial disease in Asian countries. (3).
Sanofi Pasteur’s 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 and lead to diarrhea. The phase III clinical trial is designed to determine if the investigational vaccine will help prevent a future infection from occurring.
“With an increased focus on surveillance, we are learning more about the frequency, severity, and cost of C. diff. infections in Japan. Prevention and control through vaccination represents an opportunity to protect patients and reduce healthcare costs associated with C. diff.” explained Michael Mullette, Corporate Office, at Sanofi Pasteur.
The Cdiffense Phase III clinical program has just started recruiting volunteers in Japan for a randomized, obsserver-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center, multi-national trial that will include up to 15,000 adults at 200 sites across 20+ countries. Volunteers for the study should be age 50 or older and are planning an upcoming hospitalization, or have been in the hospital and received systemic antibiotics in the past year. For more information on the Cdiffense trial, please visit http://www.Cdiffense.org
About C. diff.
Clostridium difficile (C. diff. ) is a potentially life-threatening, spore-forming bacterium that causes intestinal disease (infection). A main source of C. diff. is infected patients who release spores into the environment that can then infect other people (hand to mouth route *)
When antibiotics disrupt the gut’s normal flora and a person ingests C. diff. spores, the C. diff. bacteria multiply and proliferate into the colon* and then release potent toxins that cause the C. difficile symptoms and damage a person’s intestinal lining.
*Mode of transmission of CDI can be either directly or indirectly, hospital acquired (nosocomial) or community – acquired; Ingesting C Diff spores transmitted from others and patients by hands, or altered normal intestinal flora by antibiotic therapy allowing proliferation of C Diff in the colon. Coming in contact with surfaces, devices, or material with Clostridium difficile spores can easily be transferred to individuals by hands that have touched a contaminated surface or item. Examples of surfaces, devices, and materials contaminated with C Diff spores in hospital and community/outpatient settings: commodes, bath tubs, showers, hand rails, bed rails, counter tops, handles, clothing, medical equipment. *
About Sanofi Pasteur:
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops, and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT:SAN) and in New York (NYSE:SNY).
Sanofi Pasteur; the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers a broad range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. the company’s heritage to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information please visit http://www.sanofipasteur.com
*Please note – The C Diff Foundation does not endorse this product or any product and this posting is strictly for informational purposes only.