Bacteriophages are viruses which specifically infect bacteria. In ACD Pharmaceuticals AS we are developing these natural predators of bacteria for use as an environment-friendly, safe and efficient alternative to antibiotics.
Bacteriophages are present in high abundance in all of the biosphere, including oceans, lakes, soil, food and all living creatures. They are highly adapted to infect specific bacterial hosts, and as a result of this host specificity, only target bacteria are killed during treatment. In other words, phage therapy does not affect the commensal microflora of the patient, which is a common side-effect of broad-range antibiotics.
Bacteriophages are efficacious against the so called multi-resistant bacteria, those bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics. And since phage resistance mechanisms are different from those mechanisms giving rise to antibiotic resistance, extended use of phage therapy would alleviate the rise of new antibiotic resistant bacteria and potentially solve the “antibiotic crisis” now upon us due to long time over-use of antibiotics.
Our Bacteriophage therapy project was started in 2011 and has seen promising results of phage therapy against many bacterial infections common in aquaculture. Our main model infection, yersiniosis in Atlantic salmon, will enter clinical phase in 2016.