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| 1 minute read

Bacteria killing viruses spur innovation of superbug infection therapies

The moving story of a scientist saving her husband from a deadly drug-resistant superbug memorialized in “The Perfect Predator: A Scientist's Race to Save Her Husband from a Deadly Superbug: A Memoir” offers a peek into the global antibiotic resistant superbug crises, the reinvigorated field of bacteriophage therapy to fight bacteria, and the excitement of scientific discovery. The below linked CNN article reports an interview with Steffanie Strathdee, the co-author of the “The Perfect Predator,” and the current state of the fascinating field of using bacteriophages to fight superbugs.

Making bacteriophage therapy readily available for treating superbug infections will require collaborative efforts between private stakeholders and government agencies to manage the extraordinary efforts required to select, isolate, and manufacture therapeutically effective phages. Phage therapies may pose a regulatory challenge because phages are dynamic organisms that may change during selection and manufacturing processes. The development of phage therapy may also require the use of complicated genetic engineering and artificial intelligence-based systems. 

The combination of various distinct types of technologies and living organisms underlying bacteriophage therapy and its development will require careful consideration of patent prosecution and licensing strategies to turn innovation into valuable assets, avoid conflicts, and ensure funding for research and development.

While a lot of work remains to figure out how to best use the bacteriophages to fight superbugs, the effort is well worth it because:

The microscopic creatures have saved the lives of patients dying from superbug infections and are being used in clinical trials as a potential solution to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. In the United States alone, more than 2.8 million antimicrobial-resistant infections occur each year.


innovative technology, health tech and genomics