New research by Oragenics Inc (NYSE American: OGEN), a Tampa-based clinical-stage biotech group, has uncovered a novel type of antibiotic known as a lantibiotic for the treatment of clostridium difficile, an infection causing colitis, called OG716.
When golden Syrian hamsters infected with clostridium difficile were treated with the drug OG716, a variant of the lantibiotic Mutacin 1140, 100% survived and were cured of the disease. Also, the hamsters did not suffer a relapse of the disease after three weeks since the time they were infected.
Given its success in treating clostridium difficile, Oragenics is looking to submit an investigational new drug application for OG716 next year.
“We believe that OG716 holds the potential to be an effective treatment for C. difficile while reducing the risk of developing drug resistance,” said Dr Alan Joslyn, Oragenic’s CEO. “C. difficile infections have become an increasing health risk worldwide as new drug-resistant strains have appeared, causing an increase in mortality rates by more than 400%.”
Clostridium difficile is an infection causing colitis by producing toxins that damage the lining of the colon. It is considered a threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with an incidence rate of 500,000 infections per year and a mortality rate of 29,000 deaths each year. C difficile infections are frequently acquired in hospitals, which means that a broader population is at risk of catching the disease.
The research about OG716's success was published in PLOS One, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science as part of a paper entitled "OG716: designing a fit-for-purpose antibiotic for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections."
Oragenics Inc shares are up 1.4% at US$1.43 in afternoon trade.