AmpliPhi BioSciences inked a collaborative research and development agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) that will focus on developing and commercializing bacteriophage therapeutics to treat Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.

The initial indication will be wounds and skin infections from S. aureus, which is reportedly the leading pathogen in healthcare-associated infections in the U.S. overall, accounting for 30.4% of surgical site infections.

AmpliPhi will retain global regulatory ownership and commercial rights to all products developed as a result of the agreement. USAMRMC will gain access rights to any products developed. WRAIR will be responsible for cGMP production of the lead Staphylococcus product, AmpliPhage-002, for Phase I and II clinical trials at its bioproduction facility.

“Multidrug-resistant bacterial infections are a significant challenge for U.S. military, as they are for the rest of the world,” Kenneth A. Bertram, M.D., principle assistant for acquisition at USAMRMC, said. “The Army has had a long-standing interest in the potential of innovative therapies to address this challenge. This bacteriophage collaboration is an important step in the battle to find much needed alternative therapies to treat these infections.”

AmpliPhi appears to be fighting a war on two fronts—in April it formed an exclusive channel collaboration with Intrexon to develop new bacteriophage-based therapies to target specific antibiotic-resistant infections including bacterial infections associated with acute and chronic wounds, acute and chronic P. aeruginosa lung infections, and infections of C. difficile.

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