Synthetic Biologics Inc (NYSEMKT:SYN), a clinical-stage company focused on developing therapeutics to protect the microbiome while targeting pathogen-specific diseases, reported the initiation of its SYN-004 Phase 2b proof-of-concept clinical trial. The clinical trial is intended to evaluate the effectiveness of SYN-004 to prevent C. difficileinfection (CDI), C. difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD) and antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) in patients hospitalized for a lower respiratory tract infection and receiving intravenous (IV) ceftriaxone.

C. difficile is the leading type of hospital acquired infection and is frequently associated with IV antibiotic treatment. Beta-lactam antibiotics are a mainstay in hospital infection management, and include commonly used penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone. However, antibiotics have the potential to cause harmful effects within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract including disruption of the natural balance of the gut microbiome, leading to 1.1 million CDIsi and 30,000 C. difficile-related deathsii in the United Stateseach year.

SYN-004 is Synthetic Biologics’ oral prophylactic therapy designed to degrade certain IV beta-lactam antibiotics within the GI tract and maintain the natural balance of the gut microbiome for the prevention of CDI, AAD and emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms. To view the SYN-004 mechanism of action video on Synthetic Biologics’ website, please click here.

“Initiating the SYN-004 Phase 2b clinical trial is an important milestone for Synthetic Biologics as it is intended to assess the proof-of-concept of SYN-004, which is designed to protect the microbiome and prevent CDIs and AAD,” stated Jeffrey Riley, Chief Executive Officer of Synthetic Biologics. “Several Phase 2b clinical sites are open for enrollment and actively screening for patients with additional sites expected to open as we approach the cold and flu season.”

Mr. Riley added, “Before initiating the SYN-004 Phase 2b clinical trial, safety and tolerability was demonstrated in two Phase 1 studies: a single-ascending dose study and a multiple-ascending dose study. Full analysis was completed and study reports were submitted to the FDA.

“In addition, our novel Phase 2a clinical trials are evaluating the GI antibiotic-degrading effects and the safety of SYN-004, both alone and in the presence of the proton pump inhibitor (PPI), esomeprazole, in participants with ileostomies (colon and rectum removed, or just part of small intestine removed). They are intended to generate additional pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) data to support SYN-004, and in the case of the PPI study, to analyze any potential drug-drug interactions.

“We have now enrolled enough participants to complete the first Phase 2a trial analysis, even though the recruitment of qualified ileostomized participants was slower than anticipated. We are very grateful to these at-risk participants for being a part of these studies and helping us further the development of SYN-004 for the prevention of CDIs and AAD. The Phase 2a studies are ongoing and we will report topline data from each of them when full data analysis is available. We anticipate results will be consistent with our expectations and the positive PK and safety results demonstrated in the SYN-004 Phase 1a and 1b studies previously reported in March 2015, and in the first four participants in the first Phase 2a previously reported in July 2015.”

SYN-004 Phase 2b Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trial Design

The Phase 2b, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of SYN-004 is expected to enroll approximately 370 patients at up to 75 global clinical sites. Patients age 50 years and older, hospitalized for a lower respiratory tract infection, are expected to be randomized 1:1 into two groups, and receive either SYN-004 or placebo during the standard of care regimen of ceftriaxone (with or without a macrolide). The primary objectives of this clinical trial are to evaluate the effectiveness of SYN-004 to prevent CDIs and CDAD. The secondary objective of this clinical trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of SYN-004 to prevent AAD. (Original Source)

Shares of Synthetic Biologics closed last Friday at $2.93. SYN has a 1-year high of $4.32 and a 1-year low of $1.34. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $2.56 and its 200-day moving average is $2.55.

On the ratings front, SYN has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 23, Griffin Securities analyst Keith Markey reiterated a Buy rating on SYN, with a price target of $9, which implies an upside of 207.2% from current levels. Separately, on September 21, BTIG’s Tim Chiang reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $5.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Keith Markey and Tim Chiang have a total average return of -19.2% and 18.7% respectively. Markey has a success rate of 15.8% and is ranked #3611 out of 3759 analysts, while Chiang has a success rate of 70.6% and is ranked #284.

Synthetic Biologics Inc is a biotechnology company focused on the development of novel anti-infective biologic and drug candidates targeting specific pathogens that cause serious infections and other diseases.