WVU Medicine physicians treat first patient in new periprosthetic joint infection clinical trial

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Medicine physicians were the first to treat a patient with a new antimicrobial medication in the LOGIC-1 clinical trial for the treatment of periprosthetic joint infections (PJI), which is infection after joint replacement surgery. This is the first time the drug, PLG0206, is being tested in patients with PJI. 

Matthew Dietz, M.D.
Matthew Dietz, M.D.

The trial, sponsored by Peptilogics, a clinical stage biotech company that engineers peptide therapeutic solutions for patients with life-threatening diseases, developed the drug, PLG0206, which is being assessed in the clinical trial for the treatment of PJI occurring after a total knee arthroplasty, or knee replacement surgery. 

The drug is designed to directly address bacterial pathogens within the biofilm that have been difficult to treat with the standard care of antibiotics. The drug has been granted Orphan Drug, Fast Track, and Qualified Infectious Disease Designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of PJI.

“We are excited to help advance the care of patients who have been diagnosed with prosthetic joint infection. The use of the engineered antimicrobial peptide allows us to hopefully retain knee replacements while effectively treating the patient’s infection. This is a big step in finding a solution that has plagued the orthopaedic community for years,” Matthew Dietz, M.D., WVU Medicine orthopaedic surgeon and coordinating investigator for the study, said. “These infections have historically been difficult to treat. It is our hope that this new drug will provide a novel treatment modality.”

According to a study published by the National Institutes for Health, each year, close to three million total joint replacements are performed in the U.S., a number that is expected to significantly increase by 2030 due to an aging and active population. 

Following joint replacement, the most devastating complication a patient can face is contracting a PJI, a serious life-threatening condition, which often necessitates continuous antibiotic usage, multiple high-risk surgical procedures, and implant removal with limited ability to resolve the infection. 

The current standard of care has up to a 60 percent failure rate at four years and a 25 percent five-year mortality rate. Given the high unmet need, the goal of the new treatment is to reduce those rates.

“As we continue to reimagine the future of peptide therapeutic discovery, it is incredibly promising to have reached this milestone with our first program,” Jonathan Steckbeck, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Peptilogics, said. “PLG0206 has demonstrated potential best-in-class, rapidly bactericidal, broad-spectrum activity against a variety of biofilm pathogens in both in vitro and non-clinical studies, and safety in a previously completed Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers. Now, we have the opportunity to determine its impact on patients with PJI, who have limited and often ineffective treatment options.”