Evaluating Phage Therapy in Cystic Fibrosis-related Respiratory Infection

GAITHERSBURG, MD, January 12, 2023 – Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc., (APT) a clinical-stage biotechnology company advancing the APT phage bank, the world’s largest therapeutic phage initiative for treatment of bacterial infectious diseases, today announced the first patient has been dosed in the PHAGE clinical study, an early-stage clinical trial evaluating bacteriophage therapy in adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) who carry Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) in their lungs. The trial is evaluating whether the bacteriophage, or “phage,” therapy is safe and able to reduce the amount of bacteria in the lungs of volunteers. The trial is being conducted by the  Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG), funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The investigational phage therapeutic, WRAIR-PAM-CF1, was developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and is licensed to and manufactured by APT. The study is expected to enroll a total of 72 patients at multiple sites across the country.

“At Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, we are committed to developing innovative treatments that address the growing problem of antibiotic resistance,” said Greg Merril, CEO of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics. “We are proud to be a part of this important study and look forward to working with the ARLG, NIAID, WRAIR, and the CF community to bring new hope to those affected by this devastating disease and secondary respiratory infection.”

Phages are viruses that can kill or neutralize specific bacteria while leaving non-target bacteria and human cells unharmed. For more than a century, researchers have considered the potential use of phages as therapeutics, theorizing that mixtures of bacteriophages might be used on their own, or in conjunction with antibiotics, to treat bacterial infections—especially those resistant to antibiotics.

P. aeruginosa, a serious and sometimes deadly bacterium frequently acquired in healthcare settings, is the most common bacterial cause of CF exacerbations. P. aeruginosa can take advantage of the tissue damage caused by CF changes in mucus to infect and colonize the lungs. Multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa infections are becoming increasingly common, and in recent years, only a handful of new antibiotics have been approved to treat them.

The PHAGE trial is enrolling CF patients who chronically harbor P. aeruginosa in their respiratory tracts. Participants receive WRAIR-PAM-CF1 as a single IV infusion at one of three dosage levels. Researchers will gather data on safety and microbiological activity; how the phages function in the body; how the investigational therapy affects the participants’ lung function; whether the therapy works differently on P. aeruginosa from different geographical regions; and whether the therapy changes participants’ overall quality of life.


WRAIR-PAM-CF1 is an investigational therapeutic that contains a cocktail of four phage species that naturally infect P. aeruginosa and take over its cellular processes, killing the bacterium in the process. WRAIR-PAM-CF1 was developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and licensed to APT for advanced clinical and commercial development. WRAIR) (www.wrair.army.mil), part of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, provides unique research capabilities and innovative medical solutions to a range of Force Health Protection and Readiness challenges currently facing U.S. Service Members, along with threats anticipated during future operations. 

About The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG)

The ARLG is a clinical research consortium supported by NIAID which works to combat the antibacterial resistance crisis and improve patient care. ARLG’s mission is to prioritize, design, and execute clinical research that will impact the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For more information about this trial, visit ClinicalTrials.gov and search identifiers NCT05453578.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

About Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc. (APT)

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT) is a clinical-stage company advancing therapies to treat multidrug-resistant infections based on a phage bank concept originally initiated at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by APT co-founder Carl R. Merril, M.D., Capt. USPHS (ret).  APT phage bank is being steadily expanded with new phage discoveries and collections from a variety of sources, including the biodefense labs of US Department of Defense, internal phage discovery initiatives at APT, and academic phage research labs collaborators around the world. 

APT is the sponsor of ongoing clinical trials in Prosthetic Joint Infection (PJI) and Diabetic Foot Osteomyelitis (DFO), addressing notable unmet patient needs in those bacterial infection indications.  APT’s phage bank has also been used in over 50 compassionate cases under FDA emergency Investigational New Drug allowance in which standard-of-care antibiotics had failed.

APT phage bank is paired with a phage susceptibility test (PST) that matches each patient bacterial isolate to specific lytic phage within APT’s collection – analogous to an antibiotic susceptibility test for matching antibiotics. The APT PST will be commercialized worldwide in collaboration with Mayo Clinic Laboratories.

APT’s clinical development program has attracted substantial financial support from The Defense Health Agency (DHA), NIAID/NIH, The Mayo Clinic, the AMR Action Fund, Deerfield Management, and other VC funds and healthcare systems. For more information, visit www.aphage.com.  

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Investor Relations:
Gilmartin Group, LLC.:
Laurence Watts