Felix plans to develop programmable viruses to replace antibiotics
Category: #healthcare  By Akshay Kedari  Date: 2020-03-23
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Felix plans to develop programmable viruses to replace antibiotics

In a bid to fight against harmful bacteria, Felix, a U.S.-based biotech firm, has recently decided to devise a programmable virus that kills chronic bacteria. Reportedly, farmers and doctors overuse antibiotics to eradicate bacteria, but generally fail to kill the toughest ones.

By using viruses, Felix’s main technology can target these harmful bacteria, eliminating them as well as restricting its ability to transform into a drug-resistant bacterium.

Apparently, the idea of programming a virus to kill bad bacteria, dubbed Bacteriophages, was previously envisioned in 1915 by an English researcher. In fact, the commercial use of viruses to eliminate bacteria in people was initiated by Eli Lilly and Company in the 1940s in the United States.

But as antibiotics made more prominence, Western Scientists shelved the programmable virus model and limited research on it.

Speaking on the move, Robert McBride, Co-Founder, Felix, said that the company could bring back the idea of using bio-engineered viruses to fight drug-resistant bacteria into eminence. Felix believes that it can develop these therapies in less money and relatively less time than conventional antibiotics.

Sources cite that the biotech intends to deploy its treatment for those cystic fibrosis patients who are suffering from bacterial infections. This bio-engineered virus approach would massively aid these patients as they usually require a constant stream of antibiotics to limit lung infections.

Evidently, the next big step for Felix and its research team would be to orchestrate a small clinical study comprising of 30 people, and then follow it by a large-scale human trial, that meets the FDA’s requirement.

As per reports, antibiotic-resistant bacteria had accounted for over 7,00,000 deaths in 2019, whereas the United States recorded almost 35,000 deaths in the same period. Medical veterans forecast that this number might scale up to 10 million yearly by 2050.

Source Credit: https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/rest-of-the-world-news/yc-startup-felix-plans-to-replace-antibiotics-with-programmable-viruse.html

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Akshay Kedari    

Akshay Kedari

Akshay holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. Despite having a penchant for software development and the like, Akshay took to writing as a career owing to his passion for the field. Presently, Akshay writes articles for itresearchbrief.com and a few oth...

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