Hayward, CA – November 13, 2017 – Biolog, Inc. announced today that it has been granted US Patent 9,662,372 describing a new potential approach for treating life-threatening infections by the colon residing bacterium, Clostridium difficile (recently renamed as Peptoclostridium difficile). The patent describes the discovery by Biolog scientists that cationic compounds can rapidly inactivate the toxin produced by this bacterium. One such compound described in the patent is protamine, a small protein already approved for human clinical use for an entirely different application.
Clostridium difficile is a major cause of morbidity and mortality all around the world. It infects approximately 500,000 people per year in the US, primarily in hospital settings, costing up to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs for acute care facilities alone. As a hospital associated infection, Clostridium difficile often affects patients already suffering from serious conditions. The CDC reported in 2015 that approximately 29,000 patients died within 30 days of diagnosis, with about half of those deaths directly attributable to Clostridium difficile infection. To complicate matters further, the bacterium forms spores that can rapidly spread resistant infections throughout hospital environments.
Researchers have struggled to find good approaches to treating patients with this life-threatening bacterium. Most have sought to fight the infection with antibiotics, but this is not always successful. The ecology of the colon is already in a distressed state and antibiotics can exacerbate that situation. Another approach is to perform a so-called fecal transplant. A key advantage of Biolog’s approach, in terms of saving lives, is that it targets the toxin rather than the bacteria. The toxin, not the bacteria, may be the immediate life-threatening factor.
According to Barry Bochner, Biolog’s CEO, the company is seeking an appropriate partner to commercialize this novel discovery and approach.
The new patent further expands Biolog’s broad and unique portfolio of patents. In fact this discovery was made using phenotypic cell profiling technology embodied in Biolog’s intellectual property portfolio.