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Newcastle Emlyn, United Kingdom

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 2.07M | Year: 2013

One of the commonest causes of hospital acquired infection is the bacterium Clostridium difficile which causes diarrhoea and other effects by releasing two powerful toxins. Such infections far outnumber those due to MRSA and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA has noted “...the incidence of deaths from C.difficile is greater than the extent of deaths from all the other intestinal diseases combined.” The present project involves a novel means of treating patients with severe C. difficile infections by injecting specific antibodies which bind to, and neutralise the toxins. The antibodies are produced by immunising sheep with miniscule amounts of inactivated toxins (similar to the vaccination of infants) and the antibodies are separated from other blood constituents, purified and filled into ampoules ready for intravenous administration as an adjunct to antibiotic therapy.

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