Phico Therapeutics, Cambridge, UK
VAP caused by P. aeruginosa
Phico Therapeutics is developing a new intravenous engineered bacteriophage drug to treat ventilator-associated pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a serious problem in hospitals, intensive-care units and health-care settings. P. aeruginosa is one of the top three antibiotic-resistant bacteria listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘priority pathogens’ posing the greatest threat to human health. Phico’s SASPject technology is ground-breaking in that it uses engineered bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) combined with antibacterial small acid-soluble spore proteins (SASPs) to precisely target the P. aeruginosa bacteria and inactivate the bacteria’s DNA, stopping them from reproducing and spreading. The phage is used as a delivery system. Additionally, SASPs are unaffected by the sequence of bacterial DNA, making it unlikely that bacteria could develop resistance, and are therefore effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Click here to see a video on Phico’s approach.
Current Development Stage: Preclinical
CARB-X Investment: Initial investment of up to $5.3m with potential option payments up to $12.86m.
Initial CARB-X Investment Date: February 1, 2021