Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an acquired inflammatory disease of the newborn bowel with an unpredictable, spontaneous, and acute onset and in which portions of the bowel undergo tissue death, and is primarily a disease of premature infants. NEC is the leading cause of death among all preterm infants with mortality rates ranging between 10% to 50% with the highest mortality rates are seen in infants born less than 1500 g and in infants who require surgery. NEC kills approximately 3,700 European and 1,500 US infants per year.
There is no definitive prevention or treatment for NEC, and the medical management of NEC is largely supportive and directed at preventing further injury. Surgical intervention is used to treat 20-40% of infants with NEC but this can lead to significant, life-long, morbidity. Long-term clinical sequelae for infants who survive NEC include short bowel syndrome, parenteral nutrition-associated cholestasis, prolonged neonatal intensive care hospitalization, abnormal growth, and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, including cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, visual impairment, and hearing impairment.
Thus, NEC prevention strategies are vital and urgently needed but to date none have been successful or generally adopted as the standard of care, and prophylaxis for NEC remains a true unmet medical need.
Infant Bacterial Therapeutics intends to develop a pharmaceutical grade live bacterial therapy IBP-9414 for the prevention of NEC in premature infants in accordance with all applicable pharmaceutical regulations.
Read more about our lead project IBP-9414 drug candidate for the prevention of NEC in premature infants here