Ferring Pharmaceuticals a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group and the Institut Pasteur, a non-profit international biomedical research center in Paris (France) today announced a collaboration aimed at identifying and developing bacteriophages to treat patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Paris, France/Saint-Prex, Switzerland, April 16, 2015
Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. They were isolated for the first time a century ago at the Institut Pasteur and discovered to be antibacterial agents. With the development of antibiotics, their use declined, but today interest is growing as overuse of antibiotics is blamed for increased bacterial resistance.
Following a recent finding linking infection to the onset and severity of Crohn's Disease, a chronic IBD condition, Ferring and the Institut Pasteur have agreed to work together to develop a proprietary and well defined set of bacteriophages specifically designed to treat IBD. The new programme aims to test the feasibility and efficacy of these bacteriophages in controlled clinical trials in the coming years.
"Data generated in our collaboration with the Institut Pasteur and the fact that many patients with IBD are colonized by bacteria known to cause aggressive infections, show us that bacteriophages have an important role to play in the treatment of IBD," said Per Falk, Executive VP and Chief Scientific Officer. "A dedicated programme will now start to develop a Ferring medicine from these research findings."
Isabelle Buckle, Executive Vice President, Technology Transfer & Industrial Partnerships, Institut Pasteur said, “It is very exciting to see bacteriophages, discovered many years ago, return to bring a real advantages to patients today. The collaboration with Ferring is a very good example of a successful academic/industry partnership. We believe that IBD patients will benefit from it.”
Illustration: Bacteriophages on bacteria. © Institut Pasteur
About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
Headquartered in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and orthopaedics. Ferring has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries. To learn more about Ferring or its products please visit www.ferring.com.
About the Institut Pasteur
The Institut Pasteur, a private foundation with officially recognized charitable status set up by Louis Pasteur in 1887, is today an internationally renowned center for biomedical research with a network of 32 institutes worldwide. In the pursuit of its mission to prevent and fight against diseases in France and throughout the world, the Institut Pasteur operates in four main areas: scientific and medical research, public health and health monitoring, teaching, and business development and technology transfer.
More than 2,400 people work on its Paris campus. The Institut Pasteur is a globally recognized leader in infectious diseases, microbiology, and immunology. Its 130 units also focus their research on certain cancers, genetic and neurodegenerative diseases, genomics and developmental biology. This research aims to expand our knowledge of living organisms in a bid to lay the foundation for new prevention strategies and novel therapeutics. Since its inception, 10 Institut Pasteur scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, including two in 2008 for the 1983 discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.