Pherecydes Pharma and BIOASTER join forces to explore the use of phage therapy to treat complicated urinary tract infections

Pherecydes Pharma

Romainville and Lyon, France, July 16, 2019 - Pherecydes Pharma and BIOASTER, the French Technology Research Institute (TRI) for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, announce the signing of a collaboration agreement.

This project, called PhagUTI, is a unique opportunity for the partners to capitalize on BIOASTER’s unique expertise in pre-clinical models and the extensive experience of Pherecydes in the selection, characterization and production of bacteriophages.

In the last few decades, antibiotics have turned life-threatening diseases into short-term disorders and have had a major positive impact on public health and the global economy. Today, however, this progress is under serious threat due to the rapidly increasing emergence of antibiotic resistance.

Worldwide, an estimated 700,000 resistant infections occur in hospitals annually. A recently published report forecasts that this could lead to 10 million deaths per year by 2050 and a cumulative cost of over $100 trillion (€89tr). Moreover, the widespread resistance to antibiotics threatens the most common medical and surgical procedures in modern medicine that it would no longer be possible to perform.

The increasing threat of resistance to existing antibiotics has been the major driver in the renewed interest in bacteriophages treatment; phages being the natural predators of bacteria.

E. coli is the main pathogen responsible for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), in particular catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI) and Pyelonephritis. The objective of this project is to demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of phage therapy to treat urinary tract E. coli infections.

“This project will be an important step forward for phage therapy and a new hope for patients,” commented Guy-Charles Fanneau de la Horie, CEO of Pherecydes Pharma. “We are looking forward to working with BIOASTER on this fascinating project.”

“This collaborative program illustrates BIOASTER’s ambition very well; bringing together partners’ complementary expertise for accelerating innovation towards new effective solutions for the patients,” said Nathalie Garçon, CEO & CSO of BIOASTER. “We are very proud to be part of this exciting project with Pherecydes that will generate new avenues for alternative treatments of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.”

About Pherecydes Pharma
Pherecydes Pharma develops antibacterial treatments based on bacteriophages (phages) to fight bacterial infections and more specifically antibiotic-resistant infections. Phages are natural predators of bacteria and have no activity vis-à-vis eukaryotic cells, including human cells.
Pherecydes Pharma introduced the concept of precision phage therapy: each treatment composition is chosen after the evaluation of the activity of preselected phages on the specific bacterial strain responsible for the infection. Hence, treatments are individualized.
Pherecydes Pharm is focusing its R&D efforts on 3 targets: Pseudomonas aeruginosa,Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. These bacteria were selected by the WHO in 2017 as priority pathogens.
Some phages developed by Pherecydes Pharma have already been administered to patients as compassionate treatments.
Pherecydes Pharma was founded in 2008. It has two sites: The R&D center is based in Romainville, near Paris, and a cGMP manufacturing facility is under construction in Nantes. Pherecydes Pharma employs more than 20 people.
Pherecydes Pharma’ investors include ACE Management, BMS Systems, Auriga Partners, Go Capital, Cap Decisif, Fa Dièse, Omnes Capital and Business Angels. Pherecydes Pharma has received financial support from the EU, Nantes Métropole, DGA and bpi.

Created in 2012, following the French initiative of Technological Research Institutes (TRI), BIOASTER is a non-for-profit foundation developing a unique technological and innovative model to support the latest challenges in microbiology. In particular, BIOASTER uses and develops high value technological innovations that accelerate development of medical solutions for populations and personalized medicine.
The aim of BIOASTER is to bring together academic, industry and its own capacities and specific knowledge to develop and execute high impact collaborative projects requiring industry compatible innovative technologies.
Key figures:

  • 4 fields of expertise: antimicrobials, diagnostic, microbiota, vaccines
  • 2,450 m2 of BSL2 & BSL3 laboratories in Lyon and Paris
  • 100+ employees, including 80% of scientific experts and representing 17 nationalities
  • 57 collaborative projects, involving 27 private partners and 29 public partners

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