May 1, 2023
Eric Shaff is the President and CEO of Seres Therapeutics, which is focused on the gut microbiome in order to develop bacteria as an oral treatment for bloodstream infections, cancer, and immune system diseases. The first therapy is SER-109 for recurrent C. diff infection an orphan disease with inadequate solutions for patients. The starting point for Seres is that the health of the microbiome is the starting point for preventing infections from occurring.
Eric explains, "The real susceptibility of someone getting C. diff is not just the bad actor bacteria. But really the susceptibility of the microbiome and an injury to the microbiome, and susceptibility to infection. Typically what happens is if people get antibiotic therapy, which can be very effective in knocking back or killing all bacteria, it creates a significant niche in the microbiome, or an injury. There is what we call a race to repair, so either a patient will naturally repair and restore their microbiome, or C. diff may infiltrate, which can lead to an infection and a recurrence."
"Typically, if a patient is going to have a recurrence, it happens quickly. If they get C. diff, they take antibiotics, and the hope is that C. diff will not infiltrate to cause an occurrence. If it does, then people typically recur quickly. What happens following antibiotic therapy, is we treat patients with an oral regimen of SER-109, which is a consortium of bacteria in spore form you put in the capsule. That was the approach we took to our phase 3 study, where we had an 88% reduction in recurrence, which is a significant impact for patients suffering from this terrible disease."
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