A Phase 1b safety study of SER-287, a spore-based microbiome therapeutic, for active mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.
Firmicutes bacteria produce metabolites that maintain the intestinal barrier and mucosal immunity. Firmicutes are reduced in the intestinal microbiota of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). In a phase 1b trial of patients with UC, we evaluated the safety and efficacy of SER-287, an oral formulation of Firmicutes spores, and the effects of vancomycin preconditioning on expansion (engraftment) of SER-287 species in the colon.We conducted a double-blind trial of SER-287 in 58 adults with active mild-to-moderate UC (modified Mayo scores 4-10, endoscopic subscores ≥1). Participants received 6 days of preconditioning with oral vancomycin (125 mg, 4 times daily) or placebo followed by 8 weeks of oral SER-287 or placebo. Patients were randomly assigned (2:3:3:3) to groups that received placebo followed by either placebo or SER-287 once weekly, or vancomycin followed by SER-287 once weekly or SER-287 once daily. Clinical endpoints included safety and clinical remission (modified Mayo score ≤ 2; endoscopic subscores 0 or 1). Microbiome endpoints included SER-287 engraftment (dose species detected in stool after, but not before, SER-287 administration). Engraftment of SER-287 and changes in microbiome composition and associated metabolites were measured by analyses of stool specimens collected at baseline, after preconditioning, and during and 4 weeks after administration of SER-287 or placebo.Proportions of patients with adverse events did not differ significantly among groups. A higher proportion of patients in the vancomycin/SER-287 daily group (40%) achieved clinical remission at week 8 than patients in the placebo/placebo group (0), placebo/SER-287 weekly group (13.3%), or vancomycin/SER-287 weekly group (17.7%) (P=.024 for vancomycin/SER-287 daily vs placebo/placebo). By day 7, higher numbers of SER-287 dose species were detected in stool samples from all SER-287 groups compared with the placebo group (P