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Pharmacy Practice


Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is classified as an urgent health threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and affects nearly 500,000 Americans annually. Approximately 20–25% of patients with a primary infection experience a recurrence, and the risk of recurrence increases with subsequent episodes to greater than 40%. The leading risk factor for CDI is broad-spectrum antibiotics, which leads to a loss of microbial diversity and impaired colonization resistance. Current FDA-approved CDI treatment strategies target toxin or toxin-producing bacteria, but do not address microbiome disruption, which is key to the pathogenesis of recurrent CDI. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) reduces the risk of recurrent CDI through the restoration of microbial diversity. However, FDA safety alerts describing hospitalizations and deaths related to pathogen transmission have raised safety concerns with the use of unregulated and unstandardized donor-derived products. SER-109 is an investigational oral microbiome therapeutic composed of purified spore-forming Firmicutes. SER-109 was superior to a placebo in reducing CDI recurrence at Week 8 (12% vs. 40%, respectively; p < 0.001) in adults with a history of recurrent CDI with a favorable observed safety profile. Here, we discuss the role of the microbiome in CDI pathogenesis and the clinical development of SER-109, including its rigorous manufacturing process, which mitigates the risk of pathogen transmission. Additionally, we discuss compositional and functional changes in the gastrointestinal microbiome in patients with recurrent CDI following treatment with SER-109 that are critical to a sustained clinical response.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.