Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Ferring Pharmaceuticals to buy US firm Rebiotix

PBR Staff Writer Published 06 April 2018

Switzerland-based Ferring Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire US clinical stage biotechnology firm Rebiotix for an undisclosed sum.

Rebiotix has designed microbiota restoration therapy (MRT) drug platform, which aims to deliver healthy, live and human-derived microbes into a sick patient’s intestinal tract to treat disease.

The MRT pipeline includes multiple investigational treatments such as RBX7455, which is a non-frozen and lyophilised oral capsule formulation currently in development for the prevention of recurrent clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

The investigational microbiome treatment, RBX2660, is presently in phase 3 development for the prevention of recurrent CDI.

Rebiotix secured fast track, breakthrough therapy and orphan drug designations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for non-antibiotic treatment, RBX2660.

The firm conducted three clinical trials with RBX2660 for the prevention of recurrent CDI.

RBX2660 showed a satisfactory safety profile in a phase 2 study targeted at recurrent CDI, said Rebiotix.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals executive board chairman and chief operating officer Michel Pettigrew said: “The scientific advances Rebiotix has made add significant strategic value to Ferring’s leadership in gastroenterology.

“Therapies targeted towards the microbiome have the potential to transform healthcare. Together, we have a unique opportunity to help people living with debilitating and life-threatening conditions like Clostridium difficile infection.”

Rebiotix founder, president and CEO Lee Jones said: “Ferring shares our passion for understanding the role the microbiome plays in human health and has global capabilities that offer huge potential for the investigational therapies that we have in development.”

Ferring is already having partnerships with research organizations in the field of microbiome research.

The organizations include Karolinska Institutet and Science for Life Laboratory, the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research, Intralytix, The Institut Pasteur, the University of Lille, MyBiotics Pharma, March of Dimes and Metabogen.

Based in Saint-Prex, Ferring has own operating subsidiaries in around 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries.

Image: Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ global headquarters in Saint-Prex, Switzerland. Photo: courtesy of Ficcc.