AvidBiotics Granted U.S. Patent for Bactericidal Proteins that Selectively Kill C. Difficile
Novel Agents Selectively Targeting an Intestinal Pathogen and Increasing Threat to Human and Animal Health
South San Francisco (March 19, 2014): AvidBiotics Corp., a privately held biotechnology company, today announced that it has received from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office an issued patent covering its potent bactericidal proteins that selectively target and kill Clostridium difficile. The AvidBiotics’ agents, a type of bacteriocin termed a “diffocin,” are designed to selectively attack C. difficile bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract without harm to healthy members of the gut microbiota.
US Patent No. 8,673,291, entitled “Diffocin and Methods of Use Thereof,” claims modified R-type bacteriocins from C. difficile that specifically kill C. difficile bacteria, as well as methods of manufacturing such bactericidal proteins. This invention offers a potent and practical means to quickly and precisely kill C. difficile bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract where the bacteria can cause great harm to, and even the death of, an infected patient or farm animal.
“C. difficile infections represent one of the most threatening and rapidly growing hospital- and more recently, community-acquired bacterial infections,” said David W. Martin, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of AvidBiotics. “Treatment of these infections with traditional antibiotics kills protective gut bacteria, which then enables a smoldering C. difficile infection to quickly expand in the gut, causing life-threatening diarrhea and colitis. Even after initial successful treatment with antibiotics, C. difficile infection recurs at a frightening rate. Diffocins, successfully developed for humans, would offer the advantage of a drug for both prevention and treatment of C. difficile infections without the unintended collateral damage to the microbiota, which inevitably occurs with conventional antibiotics.”
Dr. Martin noted that AvidBiotics expects to file an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its diffocin in 2015.
“This patent issuance marks an important milestone in the development of our Avidocin™ protein antibacterial platform, which enables the highly targeted killing of specific bacteria without collateral damage to off-target species in the human microbiome,” said James L. Knighton, President of AvidBiotics. “In addition to this selective anti-C. difficile Avidocin protein, we have tailored other Avidocin proteins against a wide range of other bacterial pathogens important in human health, such as Klebsiella, E. coli, Salmonella, and Acinetobacter. In the immediate term we are also focused on developing Purocin™ proteins as bactericidal agents for animal health and food safety applications.”
AvidBiotics is a developer of novel, non-antibody proteins targeting bacteria, cancer, and virus-infected cells. AvidBiotics has two proprietary product platforms under development. The first is a new class of tailorable, targeted bactericidal agents that enables highly selective antimicrobial interventions without collateral damage to off-target organisms. AvidBiotics’ second technology platform specifically flags cancerous and virus-infected cells for enhanced destruction by the Natural Killer and T-cells of the potent innate immunity system. AvidBiotics’ major focus is human therapeutic applications of these technologies while taking advantage of near-term collaborative opportunities offered by specific applications of its technology platforms in areas such as food safety, biodefense, and animal health. The company has a partnership with DuPont Nutrition & Health aimed at commercializing its antibacterial protein technology in the field of food safety. For more information on AvidBiotics, please visit the company’s web site at http://www.avidbiotics.com.