Debugging the microbiome
How BiomX is using bacteriophages to modulate the microbiome
BiomX Ltd. is moving phage therapies beyond infectious disease and into chronic conditions driven by the microbiome. The Israeli biotech has pieced together a suite of tools that can identify bad actors within microbial communities and design cocktails of phages to selectively target them.
Bacteriophages, or phages, are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. They are highly selective for individual bacterial species or sometimes strains, and attack the bugs by different mechanisms from antibiotics.
Several infectious disease companies are implementing strategies to use phages as narrow-spectrum antibiotics that can overcome resistance to marketed therapies. Three of them -- AmpliPhi Biosciences Corp., Pherecydes Pharma S.A. and Phico Therapeutics Ltd. -- have entered Phase I or Phase I/II testing.
BiomX CEO Jonathan Solomon told BioCentury phages also attack commensal bacteria and offer an opportunity to target organisms that could be responsible for a wide range of chronic diseases. BiomX has a pipeline of preclinical natural and engineered bacteriophage therapies capable of eliminating specific bacterial strains from the microbiome.
“Antibiotics are good at taking out bugs, but can’t do it in a very selective way. We’re deploying phages to take out specific bugs in the microbiome,” said Solomon.
BiomX believes that approach sets it apart from others in the space. More than 15 companies