Rongsheng Jin, principle investigator and professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics from UC Irvine’s School of Medicine, and team have developed a unique technology that could help solve the difficult case of antibiotic resistance in patients who have contracted clostridium difficile (C. diff)-related diseases.
C. diff symptoms can range from diarrhea to life-threatening colitis and is often spread by touching contaminated surfaces, namely those located in hospitals. The bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics and, therefore, is difficult to treat. Although there a few antibiotics that do treat this, these particular medicines kill good bacteria and cause the reoccurrence of C. diff.
Recently published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, the team’s study has determined the crystal structure for the infectious C. diff toxin, TcdB, and characterized sites to target for neutralization along with immunogens that can be used in vaccine strategies to prevent and treat C. diff infection.
“This research has helped us design a novel vaccine that shows very promising results in early studies,” said Jin. “We are planning to start a new company and seek NIH SBIR/STTR mechanisms to support further development of this vaccine. At the same time, we are also in discussions with biotech and pharma companies for potential licensing and collaboration.”
Considered one of the top three antibiotic-resistant threats by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. diff infections are estimated to cause 500,000 illnesses in the U.S. and result in 29,000 deaths and $6.3 billion in costs.
The technology is now available for licensing through UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s Research Translation Group. Read more details about the technology.
Find out more information on UCI’s available technology.