AmpliPhi Presents Data on Cystic Fibrosis Drug AB-PA01 at European Meeting

Daniela Semedo, PhD avatar

by Daniela Semedo, PhD |

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AmpliPhi Biosciences, a biotech company focused on the development and commercialization of novel bacteriophage-based antibacterial therapeutics, recently presented new data at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases about the in vitro and in vivo activity of its investigational phage mix AB-PA01.

Chronic lung infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. In some cases, effective antibiotic therapy is no longer available, with multi-drug resistant (MDR) forms of the bacteria becoming increasingly challenging to treat. Thus, new alternative means of controlling MDR P. aeruginosa infections are urgently needed.

Bacteriophage-based therapy is a potential therapeutic tool for the treatment of bacterial infections. Bacteriophages are viruses able to infect and replicate within bacteria.

The data indicated that AB-PA01 was able to infect and kill 87.8 percent of the 369 P. aeruginosa isolates from a global population of patients with cystic fibrosis. AB-PA01 also showed activity against 83.3 percent of 60 P. aeruginosa isolates from a global population of patients without cystic fibrosis.

Overall, AB-PA01 had in vitro activity against 87.2 percent of the 429 clinical isolates examined, including both sensitive and MDR strains of P. aeruginosa. In addition, in an acute murine model of lung infection, all doses of AB-PA01 showed activity identical to meropenem, an ultra-broad-spectrum antibiotic.

“Most cystic fibrosis patients suffer from chronic and MDR P. aeruginosa infections, sadly causing morbidity and mortality,” said Scott Salka, CEO of AmpliPhi Biosciences, in a press release. “The need for alternative therapies is urgent as CF patients’ bacterial populations have become increasingly resistant to broad-spectrum antibiotics. We are excited by the current data and the potential for AB-PA01 to address this great unmet need in the CF patient population.”

“These new data further highlight a compelling case for the potential of bacteriophage cocktails to treat P. aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis patients where the existence of biofilms and multi-drug resistant bacteria are increasingly problematic,” said Sandra Morales, Ph.D., AmpliPhi’s vice president of research. “Our research has been focused on developing a phage cocktail with a sufficiently broad range of activity to minimize the frequency of bacterial resistance observed in individual phage components.”

The poster presented by Morales at the congress, “Bacteriophage therapy for the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis patients,” can be found on this link.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. Other signs and symptoms include sinus infections, poor growth, fatty stool, clubbing of the fingers and toes, and infertility in males.