Where in the world (and how) can I get phage therapy?

Issue 12 | January 10, 2019
7 min read

People are starting to ask questions about phage therapy. We need your help to put together an FAQ. Do they qualify? How can they get it, and where do they get it?

  • In October 2018, Alexander Belcredi of the phage therapy company PhagoMed gave a phage TED talk, and it just reached 1 MILLION views!

  • As of this week, Alexander has listed Phage Directory as a resource under his TED talk, so we might see a lot more traffic from people seeking phage therapy resources and answers.

  • We need your help! What are your favorite resources? What are some common questions you get, and how do you answer them? Let us know, and we’ll make sure to credit your answer.

  • Here’s our FAQ page so far

  • Send your ideas to [email protected] or fill out the form!

What’s New

IPATH has just received FDA approval to start its first clinical trial! This will be the first US trial involving intravenous (IV) phage treatment, and will be a collaboration with Ampliphi Biosciences.

Clinical TrialsPhage Therapy

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics has partnered with Yale University to manufacture and supply phages for use in Yale’s upcoming clinical trials.

Clinical TrialsPhage Therapy

Johnson & Johnson has invested $20 million (with another ~$800 million to follow if things go well) into Locus Biosciences, a biotech company equipping phages with CRISPR-Cas3 to obliterate bacterial DNA upon phage infection.

BiotechPhage Industry

A phase II clinical trial for a phage lysin has been deemed successful! An anti-Staphylococcus aureus phage lysin, called exebacase, was just found to be both safe and effective at treating MRSA in patients. Exebacase is being developed by ContraFect using technology licensed from Rockefeller University.

Clinical TrialsPhage Lysin Therapy

The phage therapy biotech company Ampliphi Biosciences is merging with C3J Therapeutics, a synthetic phage/antimicrobial engineering company.

BiotechPhage Industry

Due to the partial U.S. government shutdown, ASM is extending the deadline for ASM Microbe abstract submissions to January 25, 2019.

ConferenceDeadline Extension

Thanks to support from Roche Molecular Diagnostics and Intralytix, ASM Division M will provide 4 travel awards to students presenting phage work at ASM Microbe 2019! To apply, use “phage” as a keyword in your submitted abstract. Before you do, go to http://myasm.asm.org to become a Division M (Bacteriophage) member, as preference for awards is given to students who are members (and whose mentors are too).

Travel Award

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Where in the world (and how) can I get phage therapy?

Profile Image
Phage microbiologist and co-founder of Phage Directory
Phage Directory, Atlanta, GA, United States

Jessica Sacher is a co-founder of Phage Directory and has a Ph.D in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the University of Alberta.

For Phage Directory, she takes care of the science, writing, communications, and business aspects.

First things first: we’re building a crowdsourced phage FAQ page

We’d like to have answers for people when they visit our site, so we’re building a Phage Therapy FAQ page. To maximize the info we can provide, we’re going to link to other phage therapy FAQ pages whenever possible. We’d also like to draw upon the phage community (all of you) for help.

How you can help us

  • If you want your organization listed/described as a place people can come to / contact about receiving phage therapy, let us know.
  • Send us your favorite resources for helping people understand phages and phage therapy! E.g. An article or youtube video that has explained things really well, a link to the recording of a talk you’ve given, a new book coming out on the subject (looking at you, Steffanie and Tom)
  • What are some common questions you get, and how do you answer them?
  • Contribute your ideas here! We’ll make sure to credit you!

Phage Therapy FAQ Page (Work in progress)

How do I know if I’m eligible for phage therapy?

If you have a bacterial infection, and it will not respond to antibiotics, you could be eligible for phage therapy. In most countries, phage therapy remains an experimental treatment, and thus must be done according to experimental treatment guidelines (which vary according to the country you’re in).

What is required?

Phage therapy must always be supervised by a licensed physician, and in most countries, the physician will have to work with the national regulatory body to apply for approval to treat your infection with phages. You will need to know the identity of the bacteria causing your infection, which generally requires that the bacteria causing your infection are cultured.

Where can I get phage therapy?

There are only a few established phage therapy centers in the world, and many patients travel thousands of miles to be treated at these centers. If a person does not wish to or cannot travel for treatment, phage therapy can sometimes be set up to occur at a patient’s local clinic or hospital.

If you live in (or can travel to) the USA:
  • All phage therapy in the USA is experimental, so to be eligible for phage therapy, you must have a bacterial infection, and all antibiotics normally prescribed for that infection must have been tried, and must have failed to clear the infection.
  • As a first step, look into the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH) in San Diego, CA (here is their FAQ page).
  • This center opened in 2018 and has treated several patients with phage therapy.
If you live in (or can travel to) Europe:

If you’re unable to travel or would like to pursue phage therapy at your local medical center:

  • You’ll need to find a doctor who is willing to provide phage therapy (this should be done by first speaking with your own family physician or infectious disease specialist).
  • Once you have a willing physician, put them in touch with us at [email protected]; we can connect them with physicians that have phage therapy experience.
  • Once a physician is on board, and the relevant regulatory authority has been spoken to about the case, we may be able to begin sourcing phages to treat your infection. Often, each patient needs their own set of phages that are tailored to their infection, and finding the right phages can take time and is highly dependent on availability.

Are there other resources I can use to better understand the regulations surrounding phage therapy?

DISCLAIMER: We cannot and do not give medical advice. The information we provide here is intended to help you understand the process a little bit more and to help direct you to professionals who can help you learn if phage therapy is right for you. All decisions to pursue or proceed with phage therapy must be done under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.

Thanks for reading!
—Jessica <>={

Capsid & Tail

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Supported by

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