Scientists want to replace antibiotics with programmable viruses

Scientists at Felix want to replace antibiotics with programmable viruses that can infect bacteria. This will help >solve the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Felix startup co-founder Robert McBride explained that this technology allows viruses to target specific areas of bacteria. This not only kills them, but also can stop their development.

The idea of ​​using a virus to kill bacteria is not new. Bacteriophages, or viruses that can “infect” bacteria, were first detected in 1915, and commercialized phage therapy began in the United States in the 1940s with the help of Eli Lilly and Company. However, Western scientists have never tried to develop therapy further.

However, given the small number of new solutions for fighting bacteria and the fact that the standard drug model does not work, McBride believes that his company may return bacteriophage therapy.

“We can develop therapy in less time and less money than traditional antibiotics, because we focus on the testimony of patients and doctors,” McBride said in an interview with TechCrunch. “Our approach can restore bacteria sensitivity to traditional antibiotics.”

The next step will be to conduct a small clinical trial involving 30 people, and then, as the research and development model develops, and then a larger-scale human trial. After that, the startup will apply to the FDA.

“We know that the problem of resistance to antibiotics is now great and will only worsen. We have an elegant technological solution to this problem, and we know that our treatment can work. We want to contribute to the future, in which these infections do not kill more than 10 million people a year, ”the startup noted.