21. June 2012 12:06
Astellas’ Dificlir (fidaxomicin), the first new treatment of the hospital super-bug Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in 50 years, has been launched in the UK.
Dificlir is a first in class antibiotic which Astellas claims halves the rate of recurrence in patients with CDI compared to existing treatment options.
Professor Robert Masterton, Director of the Institute of Healthcare Associated Infection at the University of the West of Scotland, has “high hopes” the treatment will “provide a significant benefit to patients in the UK”.
CDI affects approximately 27,000 people in the UK every year. It costs the NHS an estimated £270m annually to treat the infection.
Recurrence of CDI occurs in up to a quarter of patients within 30 days of initial treatment with existing options.
According to Astellas, clinical trial data showed Dificlir to have a higher clinical cure rate compared to the standard option of care, vancomycin, in patients taking other antibiotics.
The clinical cure rate for patients receiving concomitant antibiotics who received Dificlir was 90.0% compared to 79.4% for patients taking vancomycin.
Also, in those receiving concomitant antibiotics during treatment and/or follow up, treatment with Dificlir compared with vancomycin was associated with 12.3% fewer recurrences.
Graziella Kontkowski, Founder of the C-diff Support patient organisation, said the treatment was a “breakthrough for patients” with CDI but “even more so for those suffering recurrences of the infection.”