French Pherecydes Pharma has launched the first EU clinical bacteriophage phase I/II trial to fight hospital acquired infections (HAIs) in military hospitals and burn units. In collaboration with two other French biotechs, the Phagoburn project aims to combat the stigma against human bacteriophage therapies in the EU and US in order to battle the oncoming wave of antibiotic resistance.
The Phagoburn clinical trial is set to go ahead in 3 Military hospitals which treat soldier burn-patients, co-ordinated by the Percy Military Hospital (a Service de Santé des Armées base) as part of the French Ministry of Defense. An additional 11 burns units across France, Belgium and Switzerland will also trial the two Phagoburn therapies, seeing as infection is the leading cause of death in burn victims.
Bacteriophage therapy has been used in humans for around 90 years, with the first example also being in a French hospital in 1919, when d’Hérelle used human bacteriophages from the stools of soldiers at the Pasteur Institute to successfully treat children with severe dysentry.