This graphic shows the introduction of new classes of antibiotics, and the emergence of resistance to those drugs. Antibiotics have always been accompanied by the appearance of bacterial resistance. This cycle of introducing a new drug only to have bacteria evolve resistance to it is the pattern that PhageBank™ promises to break.
CDC 2013 Report on Drug Resistance
In 2003, as multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria was starting to pose a serious international health risk, National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientist Carl R. Merril, MD, published a pivotal article that outlined prior limitations of phage therapy and suggested concepts that have emerged as the modern approach. In 2010, the Biological Defense Research Directorate (BDRD) of the US Navy began an initiative to explore Dr. Merril’s concepts as a potential way to deal with biodefense threats associated with MDR superbugs. In 2016 this approach achieved a significant milestone with the successful rescue of Tom Patterson, a critically ill A. baumannii infected patient. Tom Patterson’s case was immediately followed by numerous additional patient cases. In response for the need to translate the Navy’s phage research into a commercially available therapy, Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT) was founded by Dr. Merril and his son Greg Merril. The company acquired world-wide exclusive rights to BDRD’s phage technology and began efforts to optimize precision phage therapy for rapid, cost effective, clinical adoption.