A Phase 1b Safety Study of SER-287, a Spore-Based Microbiome Therapeutic, for Active Mild to Moderate Ulcerative Colitis. Academic Article uri icon


  • 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 end points included safety and clinical remission (modified Mayo score ≤2; endoscopic subscores 0 or 1). Microbiome end points 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 < .05), but this difference was not maintained beyond day 7 in the placebo/SER-287 weekly group. In the vancomycin groups, a greater number of dose species were detected in stool collected on day 10 and all subsequent time points through 4 weeks post dosing compared with the placebo group (P < .05). A higher number of SER-287 dose species were detected in stool samples on days 7 and 10 from subjects who received daily vs weekly SER-287 doses (P < .05). Changes in fecal microbiome composition and metabolites were associated with both vancomycin/SER-287 groups.In this small phase 1b trial of limited duration, the safety and tolerability of SER-287 were similar to placebo. SER-287 after vancomycin was significantly more effective than placebo for induction of remission in patients with active mild to moderate UC. Engraftment of dose species was facilitated by vancomycin preconditioning and daily dosing of SER-287. ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT02618187.Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.

publication date

  • December 2021