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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2012 Sep;56(9):4786-92. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00508-12. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

MBX-500, a hybrid antibiotic with in vitro and in vivo efficacy against toxigenic Clostridium difficile.

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Microbiotix, Inc., Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.


Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) causes moderate to severe disease, resulting in diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis. CDI is difficult to treat due to production of inflammation-inducing toxins, resistance development, and high probability of recurrence. Only two antibiotics are approved for the treatment of CDI, and the pipeline for therapeutic agents contains few new drugs. MBX-500 is a hybrid antibacterial, composed of an anilinouracil DNA polymerase inhibitor linked to a fluoroquinolone DNA gyrase/topoisomerase inhibitor, with potential as a new therapeutic for CDI treatment. Since MBX-500 inhibits three bacterial targets, it has been previously shown to be minimally susceptible to resistance development. In the present study, the in vitro and in vivo efficacies of MBX-500 were explored against the Gram-positive anaerobe, C. difficile. MBX-500 displayed potency across nearly 50 isolates, including those of the fluoroquinolone-resistant, toxin-overproducing NAP1/027 ribotype, performing as well as comparator antibiotics vancomycin and metronidazole. Furthermore, MBX-500 was a narrow-spectrum agent, displaying poor activity against many other gut anaerobes. MBX-500 was active in acute and recurrent infections in a toxigenic hamster model of CDI, exhibiting full protection against acute infections and prevention of recurrence in 70% of the animals. Hamsters treated with MBX-500 displayed significantly greater weight gain than did those treated with vancomycin. Finally, MBX-500 was efficacious in a murine model of CDI, again demonstrating a fully protective effect and permitting near-normal weight gain in the treated animals. These selective anti-CDI features support the further development of MBX 500 for the treatment of CDI.

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