Our phages fight against three bacteria are responsible for more than two-thirds of hospital-acquired resistant infections.
Pherecydes is currently developing a portfolio of 2 anti-Staphylococcus aureusphages, 4 anti-Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages and 5 anti-Escherichia coli phages.
A collaborative research project for the development of an innovative phage therapy treatment against bone/joint and diabetic foot ulcer infections
Launched in December 2014, a preclinical programme has made it possible to develop an assembly of efficient bacteriophages against bone and joint (BJI) and diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus.
These severe pathologies, often associated with severe disabilities and high mortality rates, are generally treated by antibiotic therapy. However, in view of the increasing frequency of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, the need for complementary and/or alternative therapeutic solutions is considerable.
The Staphylococcus aureus bacteria has been recognized by the WHO as a priority pathogen for the research and development of new antibiotics, a “high” global priority.
In its first step, Pherecydes Pharma researched and characterized phages capable of acting effectively against these S. aureus bacteria. The evaluation of the efficacy and tolerance of the best selected phages was completed through several preclinical models of BJI and DFU. A process for the production of phages according to pharmaceutical standards has been finalized.
Pherecydes Pharma received a Scientific Advice from the EMA in March 2020. Based on the work undertaken for several years and this advice, Pherecydes Pharma is currently preparing a Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of bone/joint infections on prosthesis, which it plans to initiate in 2021.
Pherecydes Pharma also plans to conduct a study in diabetic foot ulcer infection which is expected to start in late 2022.
Two other studies, financed by public programs (PHRC), will be launched in 2021 in these indications with Pherecydes phages, one on the initiative of the Bordeaux CHU ( bone and joint infections), the other on the initiative of the Nîmes CHU (diabetic foot ulcer).
 Hospital Clinical Research Program
Exploring the use of phagotherapy in the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections
E. coli is the main pathogen responsible for urinary tract infections, particularly catheter-associated urinary tract infections and pyelonephritis. The objective of this project is to demonstrate in vivo the efficacy of phage therapy for the treatment of E. coli urinary tract infections.
The key indications targeted for clinical development are complicated urinary tract infections, which are among the most common bacterial infections affecting 150 million people worldwide each year. In 2007, in the U.S. alone, an estimated 10.5 million visits for symptoms of UTIs and 2-3 million visits to emergency departments were reported. In addition, UTIs are a major cause of morbidity in infants, men and women of all ages.
Escherichia colibacteria has also been recognized by the WHO as a priority pathogen for the research and development of new antibiotics, a “critical” global priority.
In 2019, PHERECYDES and BIOASTER, the French Institute for Research in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, signed a collaboration agreement within the framework of a project called PhagUTI aimed at exploring the use of phagotherapy in the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli.
This partnership allows PHERECYDES to capitalize on BIOASTER’s unique expertise in preclinical models while leveraging its vast experience in bacteriophage selection, characterization and production. The PhagUTI program is currently under development, with a final selection of phages expected to be completed soon.
Pherecydes plans to conduct a phase I/II study to demonstrate that its anti-Escherichia coli phages have antimicrobial activity in complicated urinary tract infections. It is scheduled to start up at the beginning of 2023.
A collaborative research project for the development of an effective phage therapy treatment against respiratory tract infections
Launched in June 2015, the PneumoPhage research project aims at demonstrating the benefits of an inhaled phage therapy in treating acute respiratory tract infections (RTI) induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
This type of infection is largely responsible for:
- Ventilator-Acquired Pneumonia (VAP), a frequent and serious complication of ventilator-assisted care in intensive care and reanimation units (in reanimation units, approximately 90% of hospital acquired pneumopathies are VAP),
- Cystic Fibrosis Pneumonia, a frequent systemic and serious lung disease that causes a variety of symptoms including: persistent cough with thick mucus, wheezing and shortness of breath.
The Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium has also been recognized by the WHO as a priority pathogen for the research and development of new antibiotics, a “critical” global priority.
The objective of PneumoPhage is thus to establish the proof of concept of the interest of phagotherapy for this type of pathology For this purpose, several preclinical models are used. Closed in 2020, this project demonstrated the feasibility of nebulizing anti-Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages and its effectiveness in animal models.
The results of PneumoPhage, combined with those of another program, have also led to a selection of 4 phages active on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium in two key pulmonary indications: Ventilation Associated Pneumonia (VAP) and Cystic Fibrosis Pneumonia.
Pherecydes intends to initiate Phase I/II clinical development in these indications in early 2023.