BiomX Testing Potential Therapy for CF Lung Infections
BiomX has unveiled a platform designed for more rapid and efficient development of phage therapy, which the company is using to test potential treatments, including one for Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF).
According to a press release, the company expects results of a proof-of-concept Phase 2 clinical study evaluating the potential therapy’s safety and efficacy in CF patients before the end of 2021.
P. aeruginosa is a bacterium that can exist harmlessly in the lungs, although it is an opportunistic pathogen — meaning that, in certain situations, it can cause disease. In CF, P. aeruginosa is the key bacterial agent of lung infections.
P. aeruginosa lung infections usually are controlled by treatment with antibiotics. However, bacteria can evolve mechanisms that render them resistant to antibiotics’ action. Regular antibiotic treatment, as happens in recurrent CF infections, puts evolutionary pressure on the bacteria to develop resistance, so many people with CF eventually develop antibiotic-resistant P. aeruginosa infections.
BiomX focuses on bacteria-targeting therapies that do not use antibiotics, but instead use phages — viruses that can infect and kill bacteria cells.
The company’s BOLT (BacteriOphage Lead to Treatment) platform is designed to allow for rapid development of phages that can target particular bacteria — in the case of CF, P. aeruginosa — and move quickly into human studies.
“Our novel BOLT platform, which is the result of an accumulated five years of technological development, significantly reduces the time required to reach clinical proof-of-concept,” Jonathan Solomon, CEO of BiomX, said in the release. “The improved efficiency of this platform allows us to expand our portfolio with two significant new programs.”
According to BiomX, the upcoming CF program aims to test the investigational therapy in 20 CF patients. Each individual will be treated for 10 days, and researchers will assess the treatment’s safety and efficacy in terms of bacterial counts, lung function, and quality of life.
In addition to the new CF program, BiomX also has a program to develop a phage therapy targeting atopic dermatitis (eczema).
“We expect clinical proof of concept results in patients for cystic fibrosis and atopic dermatitis by the end of 2021 and mid-2022, respectively,” Solomon said.