AmpliPhi BioSciences Corporation, a global leader in the development of bacteriophage-based antibacterial therapies to treat drug resistant infections, announced study results for a trial looking at a novel treatment strategy for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. The results, which suggested that bacteriophages remain active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) after nebulization, were presented this week at the 38th European Cystic Fibrosis Conference, taking place in Brussels, Belgium from June 10-13.
CF is a chronically progressive life-threatening disease caused by a genetic mutation that disrupts the body’s ability to hydrate and effectively clear mucus in the lungs and/or digestive tract. According to the CDC, in the US, approximately 1,000 new cases are diagnosed each year with more than 75% of those patients under the age of two. An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the US and 70,000 worldwide have the disease. Patients diagnosed with CF have a lifespan of approximately 30 years, with many patients living into their forties.
P. aeruginosa is responsible for the majority of deaths due to bacterial infections in CF patients. The pathogen is very difficult to treat for it is often strongly resistant to antibiotics.
Bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect bacterial hosts, are a promising therapeutic strategy to treat bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics, such as, P. aeruginosa. These viruses are adept at breaking down bacteria’s defenses and neutralizing the infection.
To determine if AmpliPhage-001, AmpliPhi’s bacteriophage program targeting P. aeruginosa infections in CF patients, could be successfully delivered by nebulization, researchers compared the therapeutic effects of four different bacteriophages after nebulization through three commercially available nebulizers. The results showed that all four bacteriophages sustained their treatment effects, confirming that nebulization is an appropriate mode of transmission for AmpliPhage-001.
In a company-wide press release, Scott Salka, CEO of AmpliPhi, stated, “We are encouraged by these promising results, indicating that the biological activity of bacteriophage against P. aeruginosa infection is retained following delivery through nebulization. Demonstrating this proof-of-concept represents an important milestone in our AmpliPhage-001 program, as therapeutic administration through nebulization increases the probability that critical areas of the lung can be directly reached with phages in patients with cystic fibrosis.”
Mr. Salka, continued: “Frequent lung infections with high potential for antibiotic resistance are a common comorbidity in cystic fibrosis patients and represent a high unmet medical need with no optimal treatment. These data further validate the potential of nebulized phage therapy as a new treatment option for more than 70,000 patients worldwide affected by this debilitating and life threatening disease.”
AmpliPhi BioSciences Corporation (OTCQB: APHB) is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel bacteriophage-based antibacterial therapeutics. The Company’s product development programs target infections that are often resistant to existing antibiotic treatments. AmpliPhi is collaborating with a number of leading organizations, including Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), the U.S. Army, The Royal Brompton Clinic in London, UK and UK-based University of Leicester, to rapidly advance bacteriophage-based therapies.