In this episode, Ayesha talks about Nestlé’s marketing of Seres Therapeutics’ oral microbiome drug for recurrent C. Difficile infection (CDI). CDIs typically develop after the use of antibiotics, which can wipe out the gut’s healthy bacteria. Seres’ microbiome drug SER-109 aims to restore the healthy bacteria via an oral capsule that contains a protective species of gut bacteria. Nestlé has been a big player in the gastrointestinal space and first partnered with Seres in 2016. The latest venture of the partnership will have the food and beverage giant utilize its global pharmaceutical business Aimmune Therapeutics to take on the role of lead commercialization party for the oral microbiome drug.
The team also discussed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) addition of IL-6 receptor blockers to its treatment guidelines for severely and critically ill COVID-19 patients. This includes IL-6 blockers from Roche (Actemra) and Sanofi (Kevzara). While IL-6 receptor antagonists initially met with mixed results in COVID-19 trials, recent data suggests they can improve survival outcomes in critically ill patients. The WHO also called on manufacturers to reduce the cost of the IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibodies to help increase access to the drugs in low- and middle-income countries.
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