Synthetic Biologics announces three new C. difficile international patents

Drug designer Synthetic Biologics, Inc., announced on Thursday that three patents for new infection-fighting medicines were approved in Europe and Australia.

The patents allow the company to produce treatments for the Clostridium difficile bacterium. Patients commonly come into contact with C. diff after receiving antibiotic treatments while hospitalized. Symptoms from sickness caused by the bacterium include diarrhea and inflammation of the colon, which can be fatal.

The treatment, called SYN-004, is in preclinical development. It is designed to be taken orally and co-administered with commonly used intravenous antibiotics. Synthetic Biologics plans to begin phase I clinical trials in the second half of this year.

"Synthetic Biologics is developing SYN-004 to neutralize IV antibiotics in the gut, and is intended to protect and maintain the balance of bacterial flora in the GI tract, thereby preventing C. diff infection," Jeffrey Riley, the CEO of Synthetic Biologics, said.

Two of the three patents for the C. diff treatment were accepted in 16 European countries. The other patent was granted a notice of allowance in Australia. Synthetic Biologics now holds 25 patents in the U.S. and internationally.

"These new patents expand Synthetic Biologics' C. diff patent portfolio and strengthens the company's intellectual property position around our novel biologic candidate," Riley said.

Synthetic Biologics is also working on treatments for irritable bowel syndrome, pertussis and relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis.