The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Seres Therapeutics and Nestlé Health Science’s VOWST (fecal microbiota spores, live-brpk), formerly called SER-109, an orally administered microbiota-based therapeutic to prevent recurrence of C. difficile Infection (CDI) in adults following antibacterial treatment for recurrent CDI (rCDI).
“Since being founded by Flagship Pioneering over a decade ago, Seres has led the development of microbiome therapeutics, and today’s FDA approval of VOWST as the first orally administered microbiota-based therapeutic for the prevention of recurrent C. difficile infection marks a tremendous milestone for the patient community, and for Seres. We are deeply grateful to the patients, caregivers, clinical investigators, and employees who contributed to the discovery, development, and approval of VOWST,” said Eric Shaff, president and Chief Executive Officer at Seres.
“With VOWST, we and Nestlé Health Science have the opportunity to prevent recurrence in a broad group of adult rCDI patients, including those who have experienced a first recurrence.”
“Our strategic collaboration with Seres is part of Nestlé Health Science’s ongoing commitment to advancements in the gastrointestinal space to address unmet patient needs,” said Greg Behar, Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé Health Science.
“Our teams have vast experience in gastrointestinal disorders and are poised to engage with healthcare professionals to start addressing this critical need for patients. We expect VOWST to be available in June and look forward to helping patients.”
Recurrent CDI represents significant unmet need and is a leading cause of hospital-acquired infection that can result in severe illness and death. Based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the companies estimate 156,000 episodes in the U.S. in 2023.
“Recurrent C. difficile infection is a highly debilitating and life-threatening disease, and antibiotics alone do not address the underlying cause of rCDI, dysbiosis of the gut microbiome,” said Carl Crawford M.D., assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The approval of VOWST provides an important new oral treatment option for this disease, and I am pleased to now be able to offer this medicine to recurrent CDI patients.”
“Recurrent C. difficile infection significantly impacts patients’ quality of life, both physically and emotionally, leaving many living in tremendous fear of future recurrences. Patients have been waiting for new treatment options that address a key concern: prevention of an additional CDI recurrence,” said Christian John Lillis, executive director at Peggy Lillis Foundation for C. diff Education and Advocacy.