Ventria Bioscience's lead therapeutic candidate is VEN100 containing recombinant human lactoferrin. Human lactoferrin is a principal protein component of human breast milk and contributes to the establishment of the healthy infant digestive tract. Its numerous anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties are believed to be responsible for breast milk's known anti-diarrheal properties.
Ventria Bioscience has developed the ability to produce therapeutic quantities of recombinant human lactoferrin protein and is currently studying its utility as a novel, orally administered, preventive treatment for antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). AAD, which is diarrhea associated with the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, is a common, growing health problem that costs the U.S. healthcare system between $6 billion and $7.5 billion annually. AAD disproportionately affects vulnerable populations such as the elderly, hospitalized, and immune-compromised patients. Clostridium difficile is one of the pathogens that cause AAD but represents approximately 25% of the severe cases in U.S. hospitals. Current treatment options for AAD are limited to discontinuation of antibiotic therapy or administration of additional antibiotics, and there are currently no safe, effective, commercially available products to prevent its occurrence.
A phase 2 clinical study demonstrated that VEN100, when administered in conjunction with antibiotics in a long-term care setting, reduced the risk of AAD by approximately 50% with no observed adverse effects. Ventria Bioscience is initiating a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, multi-center clinical trial testing the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of VEN100 in reducing the incidence of AAD in 350 patients. This trial is expected to commence in 2012.
Ventria Bioscience is exploring additional therapeutic applications for recombinant human lactoferrin. Check back with us regularly for more news and information.