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Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Merck’s New Therapeutic For Clostridium Difficile Infection

Merck’s New Therapeutic For Clostridium difficile Infection

A study conducted by the international pharmaceutical company Merck discovered an experimental antibody that claims to reduce the recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection by 10 percent.

A study conducted by the international pharmaceutical company Merck discovered an experimental antibody that claims to reduce the recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection by 10 percent.

Merck will submit drug application to seek regulatory approval for new therapeutic for C. difficile infection, bezlotoxumab, in the United States, the European Union and Canada this year. Two Phase 3 clinical trials for Merck's monoclonal antibody, bezlotoxumab, licensed from UMass Medical School's MassBiologics met their primary efficacy endpoint of the reduction in C. difficile recurrence through week 12 versus placebo.

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Bezlotoxumab is designed to block the ability of a toxin to bind to cells and thus reduces the risk of C. difficile infection recurrence by 15 percent. The studies found out that the infection recurred in about 25 percent of patients treated with antibiotics and a placebo.

The results of the study were presented at the Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and International Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection (ICC) joint meeting in San Diego on Sunday, Sept. 20.

According to Reuters, Nick Kartsonis, associate vice president in clinical research, infectious diseases at Merck said, "We have therapies to treat the initial episode, but this infection comes back frequently - there is a 25 percent risk of recurrence after the first time, and that rises to 40 percent or even 60 percent after the second infection."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. difficile affects the digestive system and causes more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. The incidence of C. difficile infection has risen sharply over the last two decades and is now a leading cause of healthcare-acquired infections in community hospitals in the U.S.

Dr. Eliav Barr, vice president infectious diseases at Merck Research Laboratories said, "Today, with increasing concerns about the rise of antimicrobial resistance, we continue to advocate for appropriate and responsible use of these important medicines," reports Latinos Health.

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