Exciting news from the field of medical research! A recent study conducted by BiomX has shown promising results for the use of bacteriophages as a potential new therapeutic strategy for resistant bacterial infections. In particular, the study focused on patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) who suffer from chronic infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CF-P.a.).
The results of the study were impressive, with a five-fold reduction in bacterial burden observed in nine CF-P.a. patients who were given the BX004 bacteriophage cocktail. This reduction was measured by colony forming units (CFU) after just 15 days of treatment, making it a short and effective solution for these patients.
In addition, the phase 1 portion of the study demonstrated that the treatment was safe and well-tolerated, with no adverse side effects reported. This is great news for the potential future use of bacteriophages, which are viruses that solely target and kill bacteria, as an alternative to antibiotics.
While there are currently no approved therapies based on bacteriophages, several patients with severe multidrug-resistant infections have been treated with them on an experimental basis. BX004, in particular, has been shown to reduce CFUs by 99% after just seven to ten days of dosing in patients treated at Yale University in the US.
CF patients are particularly vulnerable to persistent bacterial infections due to the over-production of sputum in their lungs, so the fact that the bacteriophage cocktail was able to provide additional benefits on top of the patients’ background antibiotic therapy is incredibly promising.
The phase 2 portion of the study is already underway, and results are expected in the third quarter of 2023. This study will involve a 10-day regimen in 24 patients and will provide further insight into the efficacy of bacteriophages as a potential new treatment for resistant bacterial infections.
These results are very encouraging for the use of bacteriophages as a new therapeutic strategy. CF patients currently receive limited efficacy from traditional antibiotics, which can also stimulate antibiotic-resistant strains. Bacteriophages may offer a highly-selective activity against pathogens while sparing other beneficial organisms in the body, and may also slow the development of resistance compared to antibiotics. With further research and development, bacteriophages could represent a game-changing breakthrough in the fight against bacterial infections.