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pharmiweb.com today | 18 April 2015

Ferring and the Institut Pasteur collaborate in novel IBD drug development project

Ferring Pharmaceuticals a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group and the Institut Pasteur, a non-profit international biomedical research center in Paris (France) today announced a collaboration aimed at identifying and developing bacteriophages to treat patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)....

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. They were isolated for the first time a century ago at the Institut Pasteur and discovered to be antibacterial agents. With the development of antibiotics, their use declined, but today interest is growing as overuse of antibiotics is blamed for increased bacterial resistance.

Following a recent finding linking infection to the onset and severity of Crohn's Disease, a chronic IBD condition, Ferring and the Institut Pasteur have agreed to work together to develop a proprietary and well defined set of bacteriophages specifically designed to treat IBD. The new programme aims to test the feasibility and efficacy of these bacteriophages in controlled clinical trials in the coming years.

"Data generated in our collaboration with the Institut Pasteur and the fact that many patients with IBD are colonized by bacteria known to cause aggressive infections, show us that bacteriophages have an important role to play in the treatment of IBD," said Per Falk, Executive VP and Chief Scientific Officer. "A dedicated programme will now start to develop a Ferring medicine from these research findings."

Isabelle Buckle, Executive Vice President, Technology Transfer & Industrial Partnerships, Institut Pasteur said, "It is very exciting to see bacteriophages, discovered many years ago, return to bring a real advantages to patients today. The collaboration with Ferring is a very good example of a successful academic/industry partnership. We believe that IBD patients will benefit from it."

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