MicroPharm Limited (“MicroPharm”) is pleased to announce that it has secured a SMARTCymru grant of £100,000 to further support the development of OraCAb, a product for the treatment of mild to moderate severity cases of Clostridium difficile infections.

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a leading cause of nosocomial infection, while community acquisition is becoming increasingly prevalent.  In 2012 alone, there were 1,646 deaths involving CDI in England and Wales.  CDI is also estimated to cost the NHS in England and Wales approximately £500 million annually, largely due to the increased number of extra bed-days.  Such infections occur most commonly in hospital where patients may be exposed to high levels of C. difficile spores; they are usually associated with the administration of a broad spectrum antibiotic that, by destroying part of the colonic flora, facilitates colonisation by C. difficile; and they are most common in the elderly who, due to immunosenescence, fail to mount an adequate local immune response.

Professor John Landon, Chairman of MicroPharm said. “With the valued support of the Welsh Government SMARTCymru RD&I grant and in collaboration with Public Health England, MicroPharm is developing an orally administered immunotherapeutic product which will contain a combination of ovine and avian polyclonal antibodies directed against recombinant fragments of Toxin A and Toxin B for the treatment of mild to moderate severity primary CDI and recurrent infections.  Unlike intravenously administered PolyCAb, our lead drug candidate which will be entering clinical trials in 2014, an orally administered product gives the added benefit of low immunogenicity while copious amounts of protein can be delivered over a long period of time, while also being suitable for outpatients.”