Armata Pharmaceuticals announced a $20 Million investment to support advancement of its clinical phage development programs. Armata aims to complete a phage clinical trial (Phase 1b/2a, P. aeruginosa) and initiate three more in 2021-2022.
Holger Buchholz (University of Exeter, UK) and colleagues published a new paper in The ISME Journal showing a high-throughput method for isolating virus-host model systems for fastidious heterotrophic bacteria. Using this method, 117 new phages were isolated, including the first known phage to infect bacterial clade SAR11.
Janet Nale (University of Leicester, UK) and colleagues published a new paper in Frontiers in Microbiology on how an optimized phage cocktail they developed can effectively control Salmonella. They administered the three-phage cocktail to Galleria mellonella larvae (an in vivo model) and showed that the cocktail improved larvae survival by 88-100%.
Jingen Zhu (The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC) and colleagues published a new preprint describing the use of CRISPR-engineered phage T4 as a universal platform to produce vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. They found high levels of antibody and T cell-mediated immune response when they tested the construct on rabbit and mouse models. Beyond SARS-CoV-2, this platform has the potential to generate cost-effective and efficient vaccine candidates against any future pathogen.
Nitasha Menon (Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, India) and colleagues published a new paper in mSphere on a phage they isolated from sewage that has activity against multidrug resistant clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in South India. This study includes full genomic characterization of the phage plus combinatorial studies with antibiotics. — Thanks Nitasha for the submission!