First CRISPR-armed phage therapeutic can specifically target and remove E. coli in the human gut

SNIPR Biome ApS ("SNIPR"), the company pioneering CRISPR-based microbial gene therapy, announces today that Nature Biotechnology has published research findings from its preclinical work on  SNIPR001, the first CRISPR-armed phage therapeutic developed to specifically target and remove E. coli, including antibiotic-resistant strains, in the human gastrointestinal tract.

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogens represents a major global challenge. In numerous disease areas, current medical practice relies on increasingly aggressive therapies, which can sometimes result in patients experiencing life-threatening infections, including those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This issue is often under-recognized in contemporary healthcare ecosystems and the escalating threat of antimicrobial resistance has the potential to lead to a significant health care challenge in the future.

SNIPR001's mechanism of action, as a CRISPR-armed phage therapeutic that specifically targets and eradicates E. coli in the gut, is designed to prevent infections from spreading into the bloodstream and represents a promising advancement against antibiotic-resistant pathogens. This publication represents a significant validation of the ground-breaking technology research done at the laboratories and collaborators of SNIPR Biome and also opens up the possibility of targeting other pathogens.

This therapy has the potential to revolutionize the way we prevent and treat infections, and we believe it could potentially serve as a model for developing similar therapies that target other life-threatening pathogens. By integrating different aspects of drug development, from bioinformatics to regulatory requirements, we have been able to leverage our CRISPR-Cas technology to generate a whole new class of drugs."

Dr Christian Grøndahl, CEO and Co-founder, SNIPR Biome

Dr Eric van der Helm VP of Scientific Affairs of SNIPR Biome, commented: "This article represents a true team effort over the last few years of many of our employees and collaborators to integrate all aspects of drug development ranging from bioinformatics, synthetic biology, in vitro assays, in vivo models to regulatory requirements and CMC. With more than a million deaths annually attributed to antimicrobial resistance, we are committed to developing precision medicines that will make a significant impact in the fight against this global health threat."

 SNIPR001 has been granted a Fast-Track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), was supported by CARB-X, and SNIPR is currently conducting a Phase 1 trial in the US to evaluate its safety and efficacy in reducing E. coli in the gut without disturbing the overall gut microbiome (NCT05277350).

Journal reference:

Gencay, Y. E., et al. (2023). Engineered phage with antibacterial CRISPR–Cas selectively reduce E. coli burden in mice. Nature Biotechnology.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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