Phage therapy to treat bacterial infections

What is phage therapy?


PHAXIAM develops antibacterial treatments based on the use of bacteriophage viruses, or phages, to combat bacterial infections in humans, particularly those resistant to antibiotics.


The phages (or bacteriophages) are harmless to human organisms and specifically eradicate bacteria in an ultra-targeted way to fight microbial infections. They offer excellent efficacy against bacteria – including bacteria that are multi-resistant to antibiotics –, are very well tolerated due to their high specificity and adapt very quickly to bacterial mutations while respecting microbiota, unlike antibiotics.


Pherecydes Pharma has introduced the concept of precision phagotherapy, which consists in treating each patient according to the activity of the phages on the strain responsible for the infection. Treatments are therefore individualized and adapted to each case.


Our team has selected as priority targets three families of bacteria listed by the WHO as being among the most dangerous:Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. These three bacterial infections alone account for over 2/3 of hospital acquired hospital acquired infections in industrialized countries.


Approach and mechanism

Predators of bacteria and natural medicine against hospital acquired diseases


As of the end of 2020, Pherecydes has started the production of phages according to industrial GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) quality standards.


The company has already obtained promising results in humans with its phages in the context of compassionate treatments in France, carried out in a medical setting approved by the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM), in particular for bone and joint infections.


As a leading company in this field, PHAXIAM is one of 20 companies selected in March 2023 by the Mission French Tech from over 400 applicants to the Health20 program.


The PhagoDAIR Phase II clinical trial, the world’s first phagotherapy study for the treatment of osteoarticular infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus on prostheses, is expected to deliver initial results in the first half of 2024.

Groupe 260


Phages’ infectious cycle begins with the specific recognition of receptors located on the surface of the bacteria. The phage then injects genetic material into the bacteria. Then the infection cycle continues with the hacking of the bacterial machinery in order to produce the genome of the new phages and its structural proteins in large numbers. Following an assembling stage, the new phages are formed and their evacuation to the outside of the bacteria destroys it.


The multiplication of bacteriophages is swift and always dependent on the presence of the targeted bacteria. With lytic phages selected and produced by Pherecydes Pharma, such as the T4 phage, bacterial cells are immediately killed after replication of the virion. As soon as the cell is destroyed, the newly-created phages rapidly replicate the cycle as soon as they find new bacteria.

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Scientific publications

Ferry T, Kolenda C, Batailler C, Gustave C-A, Lustig S, Malatray M, Fevre C, Josse J, Petitjean C, Chidiac C, Leboucher G and Laurent F (2020) Phage Therapy as Adjuvant to Conservative Surgery and Antibiotics to Salvage Patients With Relapsing S. aureus Prosthetic Knee Infection. Front. Med. 7:570572. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.570572

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Ferry T, Batailler C, Petitjean C, Chateau J, Fevre C, Forestier E, Brosset S, Leboucher G, Kolenda C, Laurent F and Lustig S (2020) The Potential Innovative Use of Bacteriophages Within the DAC® Hydrogel to Treat Patients With Knee Megaprosthesis Infection Requiring “Debridement Antibiotics and Implant Retention” and Soft Tissue Coverage as Salvage Therapy. Front. Med. 7:342. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00342

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