The global clostridium difficile infections (CDI) market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2%, increasing from $630m in 2016 to $1.7bn by 2026, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘OpportunityAnalyzer: Clostridium difficile Infections – Opportunity Analysis and Forecasts to 2026’, the report covers the seven major markets of the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Japan.

The launch of prophylactic treatments for the prevention of C. difficile, treatment of recurrent CDIs (rCDIs) through microbiological approaches, and novel antibiotics targeted towards reduction of disease recurrence have been identified as the key drivers for the growth.

Existing treatment options for CDIs are limited to antibiotics such as vancomycin. Pharmaceutical companies are now focusing on the development of non-antibiotic alternatives, which will provide physicians with an alternative treatment option, explains Thomas Moore, PhD, Healthcare Analyst for GlobalData.

"Merck’s monoclonal antibody, Zinplava (bezlotoxumab), is the first non-antibiotic option to be approved by the FDA in October 2016."

Merck’s monoclonal antibody, Zinplava (bezlotoxumab), is the first non-antibiotic option to be approved by the FDA in October 2016. Other investigational products currently under development are exploring the potential of faecal microbiota transplants (FMT), which have the capability to reduce disease recurrence.

Some of these products include Seres Therapeutics’ SER-109 and Rebiotix’s RBX2660, which have demonstrated strong clinical efficacy. Both drugs have completed Phase II clinical trials and are expected to be targeted at rCDI patients.

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Therapies based on prophylactic interventions are another area of focus for pharmaceutical companies for the prevention of CDIs. Sanofi Pasteur’s ACAM-CDIFF toxoid vaccine, Pfizer’s PF-06425090 and Valneva’s VLA84 are some of the CDI prophylactic products expected to be launched during the forecast period.

Despite the launch of new and innovative therapies, the risk of recurrence in patients recovering from CDIs is the biggest unmet need in the market. Pharmaceutical companies will need to focus on this unmet need and develop various treatment options to succeed in the market, Moore adds.