PHOSA: a collaborative research project for the development of an innovative phage therapy treatment against bone/joint and diabetic foot ulcer infections

Phosa, a Pherecydes Pharma projectLaunched in december 2014, PHOSA ( aimed 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 has been completed in BJI and DFU preclinical models. A manufacturing process to produce these phages under pharmaceutical standards has been finalized. 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 gathered five partners with complementary skills:

  • Two other SMEs:
    • BioFilm Control (Clermont-Ferrand,, which is specialized in the detection of efficient anti-infective products against bacterial biofilms;
    • Vivexia (Dijon,,  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 has been partially funded by the FUI fund (Unique Inter ministerial Fund - 18th call).

PHOSA was completed in December 2017 and will continue in 2019 through the clinical study of the PHOSAClin project.