PHOSA: a collaborative research project for the development of an innovative phage therapy treatment against major antibiotic-resistant bone and joint infections

Phosa, a Pherecydes Pharma projectLaunched in January 2015, PHOSA (www.phosa.eu) aims at developing a mix of bacteriophages against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) involved in bone and joint (BJI) or diabetic foot ulcer infections (DFU).

These severe conditions, often associated with heavy disability and a significant mortality rate, are generally treated with antibiotics. Nevertheless, as resistant bacterial strains are increasingly frequent, the need for new and/or complementary treatment options is pressing.

PHOSA aims at identifying and precisely characterizing relevant bacteriophages against such S. aureus bacterial strains. The evaluation of the best phage combination is currently being tested in BJI and DFU preclinical models. A manufacturing process to produce these phages under pharmaceutical standards is being finalized, as well. The ultimate goal is to collect all the necessary data for getting approval for launching a clinical trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the selected anti-S. aureus phages in humans.

Led by Pherecydes Pharma, PHOSA gathers five partners with complementary skills:

  • Two other SMEs:
    • BioFilm Control (Clermont-Ferrand, www.biofilmcontrol.com), which is specialized in the detection of efficient anti-infective products against bacterial biofilms;
    • Vivexia (Dijon, www.vivexia.fr),  in charge of developing infectious disease BJI and DFU preclinical models.
  • Two public partners:
    • Villeneuve-Saint-Georges hospital (CHIV), a pioneer in the field of phage therapy;
    • Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL), which include the French national reference center for Staphylococci.

Labeled by Medicen Paris Region and Lyon biopĂ´le French clusters, PHOSA is partially funded by the FUI fund (Unique Inter ministerial Fund - 18th call).