Synthetic Biologics Initiates Phase 2a Clinical Trial of SYN-004 to Protect the Microbiome and Prevent C. difficile

— Study Advances Development of Preventive Approach for C. difficile Infection —

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), a developer of pathogen-specific therapies for serious infections and diseases, with a focus on protecting the microbiome, today announced the initiation of a Phase 2a clinical trial to evaluate the gastrointestinal (GI) antibiotic-degrading effects and the safety of SYN-004, the Company’s investigational oral beta-lactamase enzyme designed to protect the microbiome and prevent C. difficile infection (CDI). C. difficile is the leading type of hospital acquired infection and is frequently associated with intravenous (IV) antibiotic treatment. Beta-lactam antibiotics are a mainstay in hospital infection management, and include commonly used penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone.

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“We are excited to start our Phase 2a trial of SYN-004 on schedule. Synthetic Biologics believes SYN-004 holds the potential to protect the microbiome from the damaging effects of antibiotics and dramatically reduce C. difficile infections through prevention vs. treatment,” said Jeffrey Riley, Chief Executive Officer of Synthetic Biologics. “We anticipate reporting topline results from this Phase 2a clinical trial during the second quarter of 2015, and initiating the Phase 2b clinical trial in the second half of this year.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has categorized C. difficile as an “urgent public health threat,” and has stated the need for research to better understand the role of normal gut bacteria. SYN-004 is intended to block the unintended harmful effects of antibiotics within the GI tract and maintain the natural balance of the gut microbiome, potentially preventing the 1.1 million C. difficile infectionsi and 30,000 C. difficile-related deathsii in the United States each year. During 2012, approximately 14 million U.S. patients received approximately 118 million doses of IV beta-lactam antibioticsiii that could be inactivated in the GI tract by SYN-004.

The Phase 2a randomized, multi-center, open-label study is expected to evaluate the ability of two different dose strengths of SYN-004 to degrade residual IV ceftriaxone in the GI tract of up to 20 healthy participants with functioning ileostomies, without affecting the concentrations of IV ceftriaxone in the bloodstream. The study consists of two treatment phases for all participants: 1) the administration of IV ceftriaxone alone, and 2) the administration of one of two doses of oral SYN-004 and IV ceftriaxone. Chyme samples will be collected from the participants to measure the ability of SYN-004 to degrade the residual antibiotic. Participants will be enrolled at up to four trial sites located in the United States and Canada.

About Synthetic Biologics, Inc.
Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing pathogen-specific therapies for serious infections and diseases, with a focus on protecting the microbiome. The Company is developing an oral biologic to protect the gut microbiome from intravenous (IV) antibiotics for the prevention of C. difficile infection, an oral statin treatment to reduce the impact of methane producing organisms on irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C), and in collaboration with Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a monoclonal antibody combination for the treatment of Pertussis. In addition, the Company is developing a Phase 2 oral estriol drug for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and cognitive dysfunction in MS. For more information, please visit Synthetic Biologics’ website at www.syntheticbiologics.com.

This release includes forward-looking statements on Synthetic Biologics’ current expectations and projections about future events. In some cases forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “should,” “potential,” “continue,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” and similar expressions. These statements are based upon current beliefs, expectations and assumptions and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and include statements regarding the potential of SYN-004 to protect the microbiome from the damaging effects of antibiotics and dramatically reduce C. difficile infections through prevention vs. treatment, the anticipated timing of the reporting of topline data from the Phase 2a clinical trial and the timing of initiation of the Phase 2b clinical trial and the potential market for SYN-004. The forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in Synthetic Biologics’ forward-looking statements include, among others, a failure to receive the necessary regulatory approvals for commercialization of Synthetic Biologics’ therapeutics, a failure of Synthetic Biologics’ clinical trials, and those conducted by investigators, to be commenced or completed on time or to achieve desired results, a failure of Synthetic Biologics’ clinical trials to receive anticipated funding, a failure of Synthetic Biologics’ products for the prevention and treatment of diseases to be successfully developed or commercialized, Synthetic Biologics’ inability to maintain its licensing agreements, or a failure by Synthetic Biologics or its strategic partners to successfully commercialize products and other factors described in Synthetic Biologics’ report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and any other filings with the SEC. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and Synthetic Biologics undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release on account of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.

i This information is an estimate derived from the use of information under license from the following IMS Health Incorporated information service: CDM Hospital database for full year 2012. IMS expressly reserves all rights, including rights of copying, distribution and republication.

ii U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. January 25, 2012. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/nn/nn012512.htm Accessed: September 30, 2013.

iii This information is an estimate derived from the use of information under license from the following IMS Health Incorporated information service: CDM Hospital database for full year 2012. IMS expressly reserves all rights, including rights of copying, distribution and republication.

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SOURCE Synthetic Biologics, Inc.