Stellar Biotechnologies announces patents for C. diff immunotherapy technology

Stellar Biotechnologies, Inc., a Port Hueneme, California-based immune-stimulating protein development company, announced the issuance on Monday of two additional patents covering its immunotherapy technology for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection.

The two patents, one in the U.S. and one in China, describe certain novel cell surface polysaccharides and their chemical structures. The patents include broad claims covering vaccine and antigen compositions to treat, prevent and diagnose C. diff infection.

C. diff is a bacterium found in the intestines that can cause life-threatening intestinal conditions. Hospitalizations related to C. diff infections tripled in the last decade alone.

Stellar holds the exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and sell human vaccines and other products derived from the two patents. According to Stellar, the company combines its keyhole limpet hemocyanin technology with the phosphorylated polysaccharide PSII to develop an active immunotherapy approach with potential advantages over other methods.

"Our PSII-KLH technology is dramatically different from other approaches," Herbert Chow, the chief technology officer at Stellar, said. "We are harnessing the body's own immune system to disrupt the fundamental pathways of C. diff pathogenesis and transmission, unlike many methods which can only impact disease symptoms. These patents strengthen Stellar's intellectual property and further raise the barriers around our C. diff platform."

Preliminary preclinical studies showed that Stellar's PSII-KSH active immunotherapy program provided protection against C. diff in mice.

Approximately 330,000 cases of C. diff are reported annually in the U.S.