Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is increasing worldwide due to the constant use of antibiotics for the treatment of various infections. Drug resistance mainly develops in patients who are constantly administering antimicrobial drugs for the treatment of bacterial diseases. The development of AMR is one of the most prevailing threats at the global level because those bacteria acquire resistance after prolonged exposure to certain drugs. Hence, it is difficult for healthcare experts to cure patients from infection. To combat this situation, the scientists have developed Bacteriophage therapies which involve the use of phages to treat bacterial infection.
Phage therapy has gained traction in recent times because it has the potential to deal with AMR. Moreover, these therapies cause minimal side effects, replicate themselves, and undergo dormant stages after killing the infection-causing bacteria in the body. Driven by the significance above, the Bacteriophage therapy developers are focusing on the evaluation of Bacteriophage therapies, encouraging market expansion. With rising R&D efforts, financial support, and promising clinical trial data, the global Bacteriophage therapy market is expected to increase at a CAGR of 8% in future, according to Roots Analysis.
What is Bacteriophage Therapy?
Bacteriophage is a ubiquitous virus that selectively targets multi-drug-resistant bacteria and helps to fight antibiotic resistance. Phage therapy is commonly used to treat a patient who is not responding to the other treatment, specifically antibiotics. The therapy has shown positive results in the treatment of rare infections associated with pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, urinary tract infections, chronically infected wounds, and infections of joints and bones. There are two potential approaches followed for Bacteriophage therapy:
1. Custom Designed Therapy
In this therapy, highly specific Bacteriophage is used to target particular infection-causing bacteria. These types of products are in great demand for phage therapies at the global level.
2. Combined Phage Therapy
It refers to the use of a standardized commercial product that contains a combination of phages capable of targeting a broad range of common infections. The therapy is used to treat diabetic toe ulcers that are infected with antibiotic-resistant Staphylococci. This potential treatment approach helps to avoid the requirement of amputation to deal with diabetic toe ulcers.
How Does Phage Therapy Work?
Bacteriophage follows a virulent life cycle where the phage releases its RNA or DNA into the host cell and starts replicating. The phage uses host machinery to make copies of the virus inside the targeted bacteria before it bursts. Once the bacteria burst, the new phages infect other infectious cells, and when all the bacteria are dead, phages stop multiplying and enter into the dormant stage.
Each Bacteriophage is target-specific and kills only particular bacteria. Therefore, when healthcare knows what type of bacteria is causing infection in a patient or developing resistance against other treatments, they can use Bacteriophage therapeutics to prevent infection.
Why Phage Therapy Should be Preferred Over Antibiotics?
Antibiotics have been used to treat bacterial infections since ages but the constant use of antibiotics develops drug resistance, especially when the patient is on prolonged medication. After some time, the body stops responding to the antibiotics, which leads to the spread of infection and causes severe problems.Bacteriophage-based therapy on the other hand has been proven as a novel approach to deal with bacteria that develop antibiotic resistance. The phages are target-specific and overtake bacterial cell machinery and start replicating their DNA—thereby causing cell lysis and ultimately stopping the multiplication of bacteria. Driven by the aforementioned factor, the phage therapy companies started emphasizing the development of such therapeutics to treat a wide range of bacterial infections.
Future of Bacteriophage Therapy
The World Health Organization also released a report highlighting how antimicrobial resistance leads to the failure of prevention and treatment of a wide range of infections caused by bacteria and other microbes. This leads to wider acceptance of Bacteriophage therapies to treat a multitude of infections and save patient lives.
§ Mixed Treatment With Phage and Antibiotics
Similar to antibiotics, bacteria may develop resistance to a specific strain of phages in the future. Therefore, to combat the situation, a mixed treatment approach may be followed to enhance the effectiveness of treatment. The multi-strain treatment helps to avoid the development of resistance.
§ Genetic Engineered Phages
The future development of phage therapy involves the implementation of genome modification on a particular phage to create a target-specific phage with desired characteristics. Genetic engineering and recombinant technology has been employed to design such engineered phages.
Current Landscape of Bacteriophage Market
The global Bacteriophage therapy market is estimated to be worth around $74 million in 2022 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. The rising occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections has surged the demand for phage therapies. These viral phage therapies are effective in the treatment of patients and help to combat superbugs (bacteria that develop multiple-drug resistance). The Bacteriophage therapy market is expected to propel during the forecast period because of the rising demand for personalized treatment.
Rising Focus on Tailored Phage Therapies
The current Bacteriophage therapy market players are focused on designing target-specific engineered Bacteriophages that can target a particular strain of bacteria. Moreover, the trend of personalized medicinal approaches has further accelerated the growth of the phage therapy market. Tailored phage therapy has become the first choice of healthcare to treat patients with drug resistance—this further contributes to the growth of the market during the forecast period.
Latest Developments in Bacteriophage Therapy Market
Notably, the key Bacteriophage therapy market players have adopted innovative strategies for the development of advanced phage therapies. Some examples of recent developments that have taken place in the Bacteriophage therapy market are listed below:
▪ In June 2023, Adaptive Phage Therapeutics received $12 million as funds managed by AMR Action Fund and Deerfield Management with the aim of bringing advancement in innovative phage therapies development platform.
▪ In May 2023, NPO Microgen, A Russian pharmaceutical company, announced the launch of its new phage therapy product, ViroPhage, which is applicable for the treatment of patients having Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infections. The product has shown positive results during the clinical trial against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infections.
Bacteriophage-Therapy Market: Key Players
Several Bacteriophage market experts have shown active participation in designing phase therapies to cure patients from infectious diseases. We’ve outlined here some of the key players who are working on bringing innovative technologies to utilize this ubiquitous Bacteriophage for the development of therapies.
▪ Microgen (U.S.)
▪ Micreos (Netherlands)
▪ Intralytix (U.S.)
▪ Armata Pharmaceuticals (U.S.)
▪ Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (U.S.)
▪ LOCUS BIOSCIENCES. (U.S.)
▪ Nextbiotics (U.S.)
▪ Delmont Laboratories, Inc. (U.S.)
▪ Pherecydes Pharma (France)
▪ Enbiotix (U.S.)
▪ Fixed-Phage Limited (U.K.)
▪ Eliava Bio Preparations (Georgia)
▪ Cytophage Technologies (Canada)
▪ TechnoPhage (Portugal)
▪ Eligo Bioscience (France)
▪ BiomX (Israel)
Bacteriophage Therapy- Future for Infection Treatment
Overall, Bacteriophage therapy has shown successful outcomes in patients who develop antibiotic resistance. In the meantime, several researchers are working on bioengineered phages that have the potential to target bacteria having antibiotic resistance genes. Moreover, the rapid progress in technological advancements helps to alleviate the research on phages. The advanced technology helps to achieve greater clarification on the potency of these phages in the treatment of infectious diseases. We hope there will be more phage therapies likely to develop in the next few years that help healthcare experts fight against antibiotic resistance.
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