Reducing Risk of Contracting Serious Intestinal Conditions such as Colitis


Compounds that can treat diseases caused by Clostridium difficile.

The Invention

Germination of C. difficile spores can cause diseases and infections with a wide range of symptoms such as diarrhea, colon inflammation, toxic megacolon, and death. These spores are extremely tolerant to many agents and environmental conditions, posing a risk in healthcare facilities and food production facilities.

This invention describes a novel method of inhibiting the germination of  C. difficile spores through the use of a bile salt analogue, thereby to reduce the transmission and impact of C. difficile infections and diseases (CDI and CDAD, respectively). Additionally, anti-germinant is non-toxic and can be used in conjunction with antibiotics as an effective treatment in immunocompromised patients.

Key Benefits

  • Prophylactic approach
  • Targets spore germination
  • Can supplement antibiotic treatments


  • Pharmaceutical
  • CDAD and CDI treatments

Market Opportunity

C. difficile is the most common cause of healthcare-associated infection in U.S. hospitals and is estimated to cost acute facilities $4.8 billion per year. C. Difficile commonly affects the elderly population and patients in long-term care facility. Approximately 200,000 Americans are infected with C. difficile in a medical care facility per year and 1 out of 11 patients aged 65 years old or older dies within 30 days of diagnosis. 

Currently, only antibiotics are used to treat CDAD and CDI. However, antibiotics treatments alone can result in the appearance of highly resistant and hypervirulent bacteria strains. Thus, there is a need for additive and alternative treatments.

Development and Intellectual Property Status

Active and Issued US patents:

US Application 16/738,434, filed 1/9/2020

US Patent 9,079,935, issued 8/8/2013

US Patent 9,862,744, issued 7/13/2015

Seeking partners for collaboration and licensing





Patent Information:
Life Sciences
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Ernesto Abel-Santos
Amber Howerton
Marc Liggins
Norma Ramirez
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