Recurrent Infection: An Unmet Medical Need in the Realm of C. difficile
Dr. Richard Vickers explains how recurrent infection is an unmet medical need when it comes to C. difficile.
Dr. Richard Vickers, chief scientific officer of R&D at Summit Therapeutics, explains how recurrent infection is an unmet medical need when it comes to C. difficile.
Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):
“The consequences of collateral damage caused by antibiotics on the gut microbiome is recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). And recurrent infection is the key unmet medical need in C. diff. Each time a patient has an episode of CDI, his/her risk of having future episodes increases. Typically, after an initial episode, 25-30% of patients will have a recurrence, but by the time they get to their second or third episode, that risk can rise to 65%.
Patients fall into these terribly debilitating cycles: infection, cure, infection, cure, infection, cure. Recurrences typically occur only a couple of weeks after an initial episode, so it really does become quite an intense experience for the patients. Each recurrent episode, as I said, is associated with increased risk of further recurrences, increased mortality, and increased morbidity.
It’s very difficult for physicians to manage; we don’t have good treatment options available. Recurrent CDI has a huge impact not only on patient welfare but also on the health care system as a whole, between the costs associated with increased length of stay and readmission rates, it has a huge impact.”