PneumoPhage: a collaborative research project for the development of an effective phage therapy treatment against respiratory tract infections

Pneumophage, a project of Pherecydes PharmaLaunched in June 2015, the research project PneumoPhage aims at demonstrating the benefits of an inhaled phage therapy to treat acute respiratory tract infections(RTI) induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa).

P. aeruginosa acute respiratory infections are largely responsible for ventilator-acquired pneumonia (VAP), a serious and common complication of mechanical ventilation in intensive care units (+/- 90% of all cases of nosocomial pneumonia).

PneumoPhage purpose is to establish the value of phage therapy to treat such infections and other RTI. Several preclinical models are being used to this end. The longer-term objective (beyond PneumoPhage) reaches out to evaluate the efficacy and tolerance of specific selected bacteriophages in humans, in the frame of a dedicated clinical trial.

Coordinated by DTF (a French SME), PneumoPhage brings together a consortium of research units with complementary expertises:

  • DTF – French Technology Diffusion (Saint-Etienne, www.dtf.fr) – is specialized in the development of new aerosol dispensers adapted to drug delivery;
  • Pherecydes Pharma is responsible for the bacteriophages cocktail development and its approval process thru pharmaceutical regulatory agencies, for future evaluation in humans;
  • CEPR (Centre for the Study of Respiratory Pathologies), a joint academic laboratory (from INSERM and University François Rabelais University) focuses on preclinical models and aerosol formulation.

PneumoPhage is largely financially supported by the French DGA (Directorate General of Armaments) under the RAPID-Dual funding system for sustaining innovation in SME.