Safety, Tolerability, Systemic Exposure, and Metabolism of CRS3123, a Methionyl-tRNA Synthetase Inhibitor Developed for Treatment of Clostridium difficile, in a Phase 1 Study

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017 Jul 25;61(8):e02760-16. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02760-16. Print 2017 Aug.


Clostridium difficile causes antibiotic-associated diarrhea and is a major public health concern. Current therapies disrupt the protective intestinal flora, do not reliably prevent recurrent infections, and will be decreasingly effective should less susceptible strains emerge. CRS3123 is an oral agent that inhibits bacterial methionyl-tRNA synthetase and has potent activity against C. difficile and aerobic Gram-positive bacteria but little activity against Gram-negative bacteria, including anaerobes. This first-in-human, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose escalation study evaluated the safety and systemic exposure of CRS3123 after a single oral dose in healthy adults. Five cohorts of eight subjects each received CRS3123 or placebo in a 3:1 ratio. Doses for the respective active arms were 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg, 800 mg, and 1,200 mg. Blood and urine were collected for pharmacokinetic analysis. CRS3123 concentrations were measured with validated LC-MS/MS techniques. There were no serious adverse events or immediate allergic reactions during administration of CRS3123. In the CRS3123-treated groups, the most frequent adverse events were decreased hemoglobin, headache, and abnormal urine analysis; all adverse events in the active-treatment groups were mild to moderate, and their frequency did not increase with dose. Although CRS3123 systemic exposure increased at higher doses, the increase was less than dose proportional. The absorbed drug was glucuronidated at reactive amino groups on the molecule, which precluded accurate pharmacokinetic analysis of the parent drug. Overall, CRS3123 was well tolerated over this wide range of doses. This safety profile supports further investigation of CRS3123 as a treatment for C. difficile infections. (This study has been registered at under identifier NCT01551004.).

Keywords: CRS3123; Clostridium difficile; Gram-positive bacteria; antimicrobial agents; glucuronidation; pharmacokinetics.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase I

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzopyrans / pharmacology*
  • Benzopyrans / therapeutic use
  • Clostridioides difficile / drug effects*
  • Clostridium Infections / drug therapy*
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methionine-tRNA Ligase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Placebos / therapeutic use
  • Thiophenes / pharmacology*
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Benzopyrans
  • Placebos
  • REP 3123
  • Thiophenes
  • Methionine-tRNA Ligase

Associated data