Sciences & Avenir returns about phagotherapy - 20/06/2019

Six years after a first article about phagotherapy (see Sciences et Avenir n ° 795, May 2013), this article by Hervé Ratel (Sciences et Avenir n ° 868, June 2019, french content) returns on this technique developed a century ago by the French Félix d'Hérelle, and still used in Georgia.

Some desperate patients are still turning to this Caucasian state today to treat infections that are resistant to conventional antibiotherapy.

However, this too long neglected therapy raises in recent years a renewed interest in France through research and promising clinical trials.

Pherecydes Pharma, one of the innovative companies working on the subject, is now able to provide high quality phage to precisely treat each infection.

ANSM has recently created a scientific committee to study the feedback from Phagotherapy and its perspectives.

New site of Pherecydes Pharma in Nantes - 01/04/2019

In March 2019, the company took possession of the premises where the BPF bacteriophage production, quality control and phagogram diagnostic laboratories will be installed, as well as new offices.

Ideally located south of the Isle of Nantes in a "medical-pharmaceutical research district" where the future University Hospital Center (CHU) will be implanted, the five-story Nantes Biotech building hosts a business incubator of biotechnology companies and an academic research unit on gene therapy.

In new premises, on 2 levels, will be installed the pharmaceutical manufacturing unit as well as administrative and operational management offices.

Pherecydes Pharma maintains its activity of research and development division in Ile de France within the Biocitech Park, 102 avenue Gaston Roussel, Pasteur Building, 93230 Romainville.

Photo : Architecte AIA LIFE DESIGNERS - ©G.Satre

For more information:
actus.nantes-saintnazaire.fr (in french)
www.lejournaldesentreprises.com (in french)

Local injection of bacteriophages to treat Staphylococcus aureus prosthetic joint infection - 24/11/2018


A local administration, during a surgical procedure, of an extemporaneous suspension of anti-Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage produced by Pherecydes Pharma was carried out at the Hospices Civils de Lyon, in order to treat a recurrent articular infection on a hip prosthesis.

This treatment, carried out on the initiative of Professor Tristan Ferry, the pharmacist Gilles Leboucher and under the supervision of the ANSM (National Agency for the Safety of Medicinal Products) has made it possible to avoid the removal of a hip prosthesis. Three bacteriophages, experimentally produced by Pherecydes Pharma and targeting the patient's bacterial Staphylococcus aureus strain (methicillin-sensitive), were used. Three other bacteriophages, active against another bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa (multi-resistant to antibiotics) identified in the microbiological samples before treatment, were also administered. The strain was not retrieved at the time of phage local administration. Complementary antibiotic therapy was also used after this treatment to control other opportunistic bacterial species.

A retrospective phagogram showed that two phages were very active against the patient's staphylococcal strain. Twenty months after the administration of the phages, the patient no longer shows signs of infection and has retained her leg mobility.

The multicenter clinical trial PhagoBurn published on The Lancet Infectious Disease website - 03/10/2018

Its title: Efficacy and tolerability of a cocktail of bacteriophages to treat burns by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PhagoBurn): a randomized, controlled, double-blind phase 1/2 trial

Yhe Lancet Infectious Diseases


Its paper version is now published.

The PhagoBurn consortium, supported by European funding HEALTH 2013,2,3,1 Drugs and vaccines for infections that have developed at risk of developing significant antimicrobial resistance of the EC PCR7, delivered its fruits after 4 years of research. The conclusions show that PP1131 cocktail phages were effective in 50% of treated patients, despite the low dose administered on infected burns. The action of phages was slower than that of the antibiotic used as reference (silver sulfadiazine). An ancillary study showed that bacteria, isolated from patients who failed treatment with PP113, were resistant to such doses of phage. It should be noted that the initial bacterial load was higher in patients treated with phages.

Supporting antibiotics used to control other bacterial species had no impact on the effectiveness of each topical treatment.

PP1131 was very well tolerated and less often associated with serious adverse event events: only one was reported with phages versus 4 with silver sulfadiazine.

Compassionate treatment at the Hospices Civils de Lyon with Pherecydes Pharma bacteriophages - 01/10/2018

The description of this first case performed by Professor Tristan Ferry's team, in 2017, was published in the Journal of Antimicrobial in October 2018.


The paper intitled Innovations for the treatment of a complex bone and joint infection due to XDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa including local application of a selected cocktail of bacteriophages describes the use of 4 bacteriophages to treat an infection located in the sacroiliac joint of a patient.

The infection appeared approximately two months after excision of a bone metastasis and placement of a filling cement. The antibiogram of the bacterial strain responsible for the infection showed resistance to almost all antibiotics (except polymyxin and ceftolozane / tazobactam). The mixture of 4 phages produced by Pherecydes Pharma and mixed before dilution at the hospital pharmacy was administered directly into the previously unbridled and cleaned wound. Four administrations were performed 3 days apart.

The deep and large wound was sterilized following the first phage administration but the other three were nevertheless performed. Successful phage therapy, combined with antibiotics and a vacuum-assisted wound closure system (VACVR Therapy, KCI, USA) resulted in rapid eradication of the infection, followed by good wound healing. Phage were very well tolerated.

Unfortunately, the patient died a few weeks later as a result of his generalized cancer.

Pherecydes Pharma raises €8.7M ($10.3M) - 16/01/2018

Series B financing led by GO CAPITAL and two historical investors, ACE Management and Auriga Partners Funds will allow company to produce phages according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), initiate clinical trials with two new products and set up a pharmaceutical production unit in Nantes.

Romainville, France, January 16, 2018 – Pherecydes Pharma, a biotechnology company specialized in the research and development of anti-infective therapies based on the use of bacteriophages, today announces that it has raised €8.7M ($10.3M) during a Series B round of financing. The new investors are GO CAPITAL, who led this round, along with Omnes Capital, Fa Dièse, Paris Region Venture Fund, managed by CapDecisif Management and a group of business angels from the Rhône-Alpes region. Historical investors ACE Management, Auriga Partners and Participations Besançon have also contributed significantly to this round of financing.

With this financial support, the company plans to produce phages for compassionate use (ATU or Temporary Authorization for Use) in accordance with GMP. Pherecydes will move two programs into the clinical phase in 2018 and 2019: PHOSA for the treatment of severe Staphylococcus aureus infections and PNEUMOPHAGE for the treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory tract infections. The financing will be used, as well, to set up a 10,000 square feet (approx 1,000M2)pharmaceutical production unit in Nantes. In addition, new research programs will be launched in 2018 and 2019.

Phage therapy is an innovative therapeutic approach for the treatment of bacterial infections, particularly those acquired in hospitals - (HAI) and/or resistant to antibiotics. According to the O’Neill report, if antibiotic resistance continues to increase it will result in the deaths of 10 million people each year and a 2% to 3.5% reduction in global GDP from 2050 onwards. The WHO estimates that the annual costs generated represent €7bn ($8.3bn) in Europe and $6.5bn (€5.5bn) in the United States. The rapid development of antibiotic resistance has become a major public health issue. In 2017, the WHO published a list of priority targets, which includes those pathogens selected by Pherecydes.

The investors were convinced by the unique expertise developed by the company in the production of highly purified phages. Pherecydes plans to quickly become an integrated company, with its own production capacities. Overall, the biotechnology startup has raised a total of €13.6M ($16.2M). This includes this round of financing, as well as €2.6M ($3.1M) raised in 2015 and €2.3M ($2.7M) raised since its creation in 2007.

“Over the next few years, phage therapy will play a major role in the global fight against antibiotic resistance. We are certain that Pherecydes is in a strong position to become a driving force in phage therapy. We were all attracted by Pherecydes’ high-caliber team as well as the technology platform, which is already clinically well proven on a compassionate use basis. The company has ambitious targets and we are delighted to support the development of such a project with high-quality investors at our side,” said Leila Nicolas, investment director at GO CAPITAL.

“Since the beginning of our relationship with Pherecydes Pharma, we have been able to ascertain the relevance of the technology," said Delphine Dinard, investment director at ACE Management. "Infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria have become a major public health issue. Pherecydes Pharma’s business model means that revenues from the sale of its bacteriophages can be expected in a very short period of time. We are extremely pleased to welcome GO CAPITAL, Omnes, Fa Dièse and new business angels as investors in Pherecydes Pharma to support it in this exciting stage of development.”

“This financing is a major step for the company. It allows Pherecydes to become a commercial company with its own industrial capacities”, said Guy-Charles Fanneau de La Horie, CEO of Pherecydes Pharma.

Representatives from GO CAPITAL and Omnes will soon be appointed to the company’s supervisory board. Auditors will represent Fa Dièse, Paris Region Venture Fund and the group of business angels. ACE Management and Auriga Partners will keep their seats, as will both current independent members.

Publication - 01/07/2015

François Ravat (Saint-Luc Saint-Joseph), Patrick Jault (Percy) and Jérôme Gabard (Pherecydes Pharma) wrote a scientific article entitled “Bactériophage et phagothérapie : utilisation de virus naturels pour traiter les infections bactériennes - Using Natural Viruses To Treat Bacterial Infections”.

This article was published in the journal Annals of Burn and Fire Disasters, 2015; 23(1):13-20.

French Documentary on FUTUR MAG - ARTE - 07/02/2015

A documentary about Pherecydes Pharma and its products to treat burned patients ( Phagoburn project ) was released February 7, 2015 in Future mag on the Arte channel.

Article in LesEchos.fr - 22/01/2015

The newspaper LesEchos.fr published in January 2015 an article on Pherecydes Pharma and Phagoburn project.


PHOSA Project - 01/01/2015

PHOSA is a French research project to develop a bacteriophage cocktail to fight against osteoarticular bacterial infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus and epidermidis.

Initiated by Pherecydes Pharma , PHOSA is supported by public funding in the 18th call for projects " FUI - Unique Interministerial Fund " and labeled by the competitiveness clusters Medicen and Lyonbiopôle.

Launched on January 1, 2015 for 24 months, the central objective of PHOSA is the development of an effective bacteriophages lytic cocktail against bone and joint infections (IOA ) caused by staphylococci. At the end of the project, the regulatory steps required to launch a clinical trial in humans (phase I / II) for the cocktail should have been conducted .Beyond Pherecydes Pharma , unique French company specialized in the field of phage therapy , the PHOSA Consortium brings together four partners with complementary expertise: two innovative SMEs ( Biofilm Control and Vivexia ) and two public research centers (CHIV and HCL).