Penn State, Ganeden Biotech Present New Data on Probiotic and C. diff

Ganeden Biotech announces that the company will present new in vivo data on the effect of its GanedenBC30 probiotic strain in C. diff infection at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference in Chicago, being held May 7-10, 2011. Jointly with its collaborator, Dr. Leo R. Fitzpatrick, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Penn State College of Medicine, Ganeden will present data on the effect of GanedenBC30 on impacting C. diff-induced colitis in mice. Following an established protocol for colitis induced by C. diff, GanedenBC30 demonstrated a significant effect on improving stool consistency and also improved animal survival and other indices of colonic inflammation.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a species of gram-positive bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and other intestinal disease when competing, friendly bacteria in the gut flora are wiped out by antibiotics. C. diff infection typically occurs in hospital or healthcare settings after antibiotic administration. The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that C. diff infections occur in 10 of every 1,000 hospitalizations. AHRQ research found that patients with C. diff were hospitalized almost three times longer than uninfected patients and that the in-hospital death rate for patients with C. diff was almost five times the overall rate.

Treatment for C. diff infection is generally focused on administering antibiotics to kill the C. diff bacteria once an infection is diagnosed. Currently, there is one FDA-approved antibiotic for C. diff, vancomycin. However, because C. diff infection first arises when the body's own protective ecosystem of friendly bacteria is destroyed by antibiotics, there is a risk for re-infection following antibiotic treatment for C. diff. Patients can get caught in a vicious cycle of infection, treatment, and re-infection. Many researchers are interested in trying to rebuild that ecosystem as soon as antibiotics are administered in the first place.

"There is a tremendous need for new therapies for C. diff infection, and we are encouraged that this new research supports our in vitro data showing the potential of our GanedenBC30 probiotic strain to help," says Marshall Fong, vice president of marketing for Ganeden. "We hope to continue the research on GanedenBC30 in a hospital setting to gauge the real-life impact of GanedenBC30 in preventing or reducing the severity of C. diff infections."

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