November 25, 2020

Ferring Pharmaceuticals Supports Official Proclamation of November as Clostridioides difficile Infection Awareness Month in States of New Jersey and Minnesota

  • CDC defines Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection as a significant healthcare burden to patients and physicians, labeling C. diff as a public health threat causing an estimated half a million illnesses and thousands of deaths annually in the US alone1,2,3
  • This is the first year that Ferring reached out to the Office of the Governor of New Jersey to discuss the proclamation of November as Clostridioides difficile Infection Awareness Month

Parsippany, New Jersey – November 24, 2020 – Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Rebiotix Inc., a Ferring Company, support the States of New Jersey and Minnesota in officially recognizing November as Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) Infection Awareness Month.  The proclamation by the offices of Governor Philip Murphy (New Jersey) and Tim Walz (Minnesota) further demonstrates the sense of urgency to address the devastating and debilitating impact of C. diff infection on patients, their families and the healthcare system at large.

C. diff infection is declared a public health threat by the CDC, causing an estimated half a million illnesses and tens of thousands of deaths in the US each year.1,2,3 “After living with C. diff infection myself and losing my father to the illness, it is critical to increase C. diff awareness to reduce the impact and rate of infection,” said Nancy Caralla, Founding President and Executive Director, C. Diff Foundation. “We commend the States of New Jersey and Minnesota for recognizing the impact of this debilitating and potentially deadly illness.”

Ferring with Rebiotix is rapidly advancing its microbiome research, developing novel therapies to address significant unmet needs in deadly and debilitating diseases, and helping people live better lives. The company is building a portfolio of microbiome-based live biotherapeutics, including first-in-class investigational lead candidate RBX2660, for the treatment of recurrent C. diff infection.

“The States of New Jersey and Minnesota officially recognizing Clostridioides difficile Infection Awareness Month emphasizes the sense of urgency around treating and developing new options for C. diff infection, which is the most common health care-associated infection in the US,” said James Tursi, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Ferring Pharmaceuticals. “It is our responsibility to work tirelessly to break the cycle of C. diff infection and bring hope to the patients and families who are impacted by this debilitating and potentially deadly illness.”

Ferring’s commitment to the C. diff community was fully displayed during last month’s Peggy Lillis Foundation virtual gala. A social media campaign intended to raise awareness of the devastating impact of living with C. diff infection – either through a personal experience or the experience of a loved one – was unveiled. Using the hashtag #BreakTheCDiffCycle on Twitter, participants are encouraged to share an activity that C. diff infection changed that they hope to get back one day  – a favorite hobby, a daily habit or something that they enjoyed doing with a loved one before the impact of C. diff infection.  Submission guidelines and an example entry are provided on the @FerringUSA Twitter handle. Participants are asked to use the hashtag and tag @PeggyFund and @FerringUSA so stories can be shared.

“My brother and I lost our mother Peggy to C. diff infection, experiencing firsthand the devastating effect this illness has on families,” said Christian John Lillis, Executive Director, Peggy Lillis Foundation. “We thank Ferring for their dedication to raising awareness and encouraging others to share their stories. While data is critical to our efforts to combat C. diff, personal stories bring the experience of C. diff infection to life and lead to a better understanding of the impact this disease has on people’s lives.”


About Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection
C. diff is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and colitis (an inflammation of the colon).4 It is estimated to cause up to half a million illnesses in the US alone every year and is considered an urgent threat to public health by the CDC, and can lead to severe complications, including hospitalization, surgery, sepsis and death.1,2 C. diff infection may result in a vicious cycle of recurrence, causing a significant burden for patients and the healthcare system.5,6 The use of antibiotics has been shown to disrupt the ecology of the gut microbiome, and are a predominant risk factor for C. diff recurrence – occurring in up to 35% of patients after initial C. diff infection diagnosis.7,8 After the first recurrence, it has been estimated that up to 60% of patients may develop a subsequent recurrence.9


About Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group committed to helping people around the world build families and live better lives. In the United States, Ferring is a leader in reproductive medicine and maternal health, and in specialty areas within gastroenterology and orthopaedics.

Ferring is committed to exploring the crucial link between the gut microbiome and human health, beginning with the threat of recurrent Clostridioides difficile infections. With the 2018 acquisition of Rebiotix and several other alliances, Ferring is the world leader in microbiome research, developing novel therapies to address significant unmet needs.


For more information, call 1-888-FERRING + (1-888-337-7464); visit

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For more information, please contact


Heather Guzzi
Director, Brand Communications
Communications & Digital Innovation
Ferring Pharmaceuticals



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What Is C. Diff? 17 Dec. 2018. Available at:
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Biggest Threats and Data, 14 Nov. 2019. Available at:
  3. Fitzpatrick F, Barbut F. Breaking the cycle of recurrent Clostridium difficileClin Microbiol Infect. 2012;18(suppl 6):2-4.
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Clostridioides difficile Fact Sheet. Available at:
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 24 June 2020. Available at:
  6. Feuerstadt P, et al. J Med Econ. 2020;23(6):603-609.
  7. Langdon A, Crook N, Dantas G. The effects of antibiotics on the microbiome throughout development and alternative approaches for therapeutic modulation. Genome Med. 2016;8(1):39.
  8. Lessa FC, Mu Y, Bamberg WM, et al. Burden of Clostridium difficile infection in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(9):825-834.
  9. Leong C, Zelenitsky S. Treatment strategies for recurrent Clostridium difficile Can J Hosp Pharm. 2013;66(6):361-368.



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