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SASPject™: a lethal delivery for bacteria that’s hard to resist

Phico Therapeutics is developing a unique antibiotic technology to address one the most urgent challenges facing medicine today – how to destroy multi-drug resistant bacteria, the so-called “superbugs”.

Phico’s patented platform utilises an antibacterial protein, SASP, to inactivate bacterial DNA and cause rapid destruction of target bacteria.

Known as SASPject™, the technology can be targeted to any selected bacteria with potential for administration as a topical nasal, oral or intravenous treatment. SASPject™ is a new class of antibiotic which could provide many advantages over conventional antibiotic classes.

In vitro testing shows that SASPject™ can destroy targeted bacteria more rapidly than any other licensed antibiotic whilst leaving the remaining bacterial flora unharmed: SASPject™ can destroy up to 99.9 % of target bacteria in 2 minutes. Equally important, laboratory studies have not revealed any mechanism by which bacteria can become resistant to SASP and its unique mode of action.

Early clinical development of first product, SASPject™ PT1.2, aimed at Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA has been backed by the Wellcome Trust. Phico’s SASPject™ PT3.1 is in pre-clinical development for systemic use against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and SASPject™ PT3.X for systemic use against a range of Gram negative bacteria including Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae.