Updated on 20 June 2012
DIFICID is the first in a new class of macrolide antibiotics, which are minimally absorbed by the bloodstream
Singapore: A new therapy to treat a common hospital superbug infection Clostridium difficile will soon be available to Australian and New Zealand patients.
Melbourne biopharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Australia (STA) has entered into an exclusive distribution and license agreement with US-based Optimer Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialize the drug DIFICID in Australia and New Zealand.
This macrolide antibiotic therapy, taken in tablet form, is regarded as a breakthrough treatment to help fight the serious CDI, which typically develops in patients using broad-spectrum antibiotics. The organism - which is resistant to many common household and commercial disinfecting agents - targets the large intestine, causing diarrhoea. It is extremely common in hospitals and aged care facilities and can be fatal.
A recent media report indicated 14 people in Victoria, Australia, died from the infection during a 15-month period in 2010 and 2011. According to data generated by the Quebec provincial hospitalization database, there were 7004 cases of C. difficile across Quebec from April 1st 2003 to March 31st 2004, and 1270 people died after contracting CDI.
STA chief executive officer Mr Carlo Montagner said, "CDI presents a serious bacterial health threat and current CDI treatment options available in Australia and New Zealand are limited. Our license of DIFICID provides a great opportunity to bring a much-needed new therapy to patients."