New drug for C. diff scoring well in tests

CHICAGO, Ill. (WPVI) -- A new drug to treat C. Difficile, also known as C. Diff, is getting

C. diff is a common bacterial infection of the gut, and it can be deadly.

In two Phase 3 clinical trials, an infusion of Bezlotoxumab cut the risk for a recurrent infection by 10-percent over 12 weeks.

The success was reported at a dual medical meeting in San Diego, CA.

Based on the results, the company plans to file regulatory applications in the U.S., EU and Canada this year.

Right now, there are no drugs approved specifically for C. diff.

Bezlotoxumab binds to C. diff toxin B, which can damage the gut wall and cause inflammation which leads to the symptoms of C. diff intestinal inflammation which includes abdominal pain and watery diarrhea.

C. diff is a normal component of the gut flora.

In immuno-compromised patients like the elderly, its proliferation can lead to severe symptoms and even death.

In the U.S. in 2011, there were around 500,000 C. diff infections, with about 29,000 deaths.
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