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Optimer Announces that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee Voted Unanimously to Recommend Approval of Novel Antibiotic Dificid™ for Treatment of Patients with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI)
Date:4/5/2011

appeared in the February 3, 2011 issue.  

About Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI)

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), commonly referred to as "C. difficile" or "c-diff", has become a significant medical problem in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and in the community and is estimated to afflict more than 700,000 people each year in the U.S.  It is a serious illness resulting from infection of the inner lining of the colon by C. difficile bacteria, which produce toxins that cause inflammation of the colon, severe diarrhea and, in the most serious cases, death.  Patients typically develop CDI from the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that disrupt normal gastrointestinal (gut) flora, thus allowing C. difficile bacteria to flourish and produce toxins.

Current therapeutic options for CDI include the off-label use of metronidazole and oral vancomycin, the latter being the only FDA-approved treatment.  However, approximately 20% to 30% of CDI patients who initially respond to these treatments experience a clinical recurrence following cessation of the CDI treatment.

Primary risk factors for CDI include broad-spectrum antibiotic use (such as cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones), older age (over 65) and exposure to emerging hyper-virulent strains (BI/NAP1/027, 078, 001) of C. difficile. The rise in incidence of CDI, along with high rates of both treatment failures and recurrences with current therapies has resulted in greater awareness and concern about CDI among medical professionals and public health officials. Advancing age is one of the most significant risk factors for CDI and with the 65-plus population growing every year in the US, the incidence of CDI has the potential to increase in hospitals and long-term care facilities. You may learn more about CDI at www.cdiinfo.org, a website of Optimer.

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SOURCE Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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