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The PhagECOLI Project Undertaken by Pherecydes Pharma and the CEA Receives a €2 Million Grant From Bpifrance

The project has won the “Emerging Infectious Diseases and New Radiological, Biological and Chemical Threats” Call for Expressions of Interest

NANTES, France & GRENOBLE, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News:

Pherecydes Pharma (FR0011651694 – ALPHE), a biotechnology company specializing in precision phage therapy to treat resistant and/or complicated bacterial infections, and the CEA, today announced the selection of the PhagECOLI project submitted within the framework of the ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases and New Radiological, Biological and Chemical Threats’ Call for Expressions of Interest. This project will receive a Bpifrance grant of €2 million, 50% of its estimated cost, of which Pherecydes Pharma will receive 80% and the CEA 20%.

The PhagECOLI project draws on the complementary expertise and experience of Pherecydes Pharma and the CEA. The aim of this three-year project is to offer new treatments for hard-to-treat or resistant E. Coli infections thanks to precision phage therapy. To provide the best approach to the therapeutic need, Pherecydes Pharma and the CEA will develop a new generation of tools to measure the efficacy of anti-E. Coli phages on the patient’s bacterial strain. These new tools could then become the basis for a brand-new generation of phagograms1 for the various target bacteria. This financial support will also allow Pherecydes Pharma to accelerate the development of its anti-E. coli phages.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Escherichia coli within the group of bacteria presenting a critical priority in terms of searching for new treatments, given how dangerous and antibiotic-resistant it is. According to ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) data, resistant E. coli infections are the most frequent infections in European hospitals, with more than 163,000 cases a year.

Guy-Charles Fanneau de La Horie, Chairman of the Executive Board of Pherecydes Pharma, stated: “I am delighted to be able to combine our efforts with those undertaken by the CEA in recent years in the field of the detection of phages’ activity on target bacteria. The goal of the approach jointly developed with the CEA is to put in place a brand-new generation of reliable, rapid and sensitive tools enabling optimized treatment for patients and physicians. We are also very proud to receive Bpifrance’s support for this project with our anti-E. Coli phages”.

Nadège Nief, Deputy Head of the CEA’s Micro-Technologies for Biology & Healthcare division, said: “We are very pleased to be able to develop this new generation of tools with Pherecydes Pharma. Through its experience and projects, Pherecydes has today become the most-advanced European industrial player in this field, and its precision phage therapy approach fully corresponds to the research carried out by the CEA on the optical phagogram in recent years. We firmly believe that, together, we can develop fast and industrializable tools for the effective treatment of patients facing a therapeutic impasse”.

About Pherecydes Pharma

Founded in 2006, Pherecydes Pharma is a biotechnology company that develops treatments against resistant bacterial infections, responsible for many serious infections. The Company has developed an innovative approach, precision phage therapy, based on the use of phages, natural bacteria-killing viruses. Pherecydes Pharma is developing a portfolio of phages targeting 3 of the most resistant and dangerous bacteria, which alone account for more than two thirds of hospital-acquired resistant infections: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The concept of precision phage therapy has been successfully applied in several dozen patients in the context of compassionate use, under the supervision of the French National Agency for the Safety of Medicines (ANSM). Headquartered in Nantes, Pherecydes Pharma has a team of around twenty experts from the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology sector and academic research.

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About the CEA

The CEA is a major player in the field of research benefiting the French State, the economy and citizens. It provides concrete solutions to their requirements in four key areas: the energy transition, the digital transition, technologies for the medicines of the future and defense & security. The only French public research body in the global top 100 innovation players, the CEA plays the role of a catalyzer and accelerator of innovation serving French industry. It improves the competitiveness of companies in every sector by creating effective and distinctive products and provides innovative solutions to shed light on our society’s changes. The CEA deploys this dynamic across all French regions by supporting its local partners’ innovation approaches, thus contributing to the creation of value and long-term jobs throughout the country to meet industry’s needs. At the same time, it supports the development of its 220 start-ups, agile channels for transmitting the know-how and disruptive technologies developed in laboratories.


This press release contains non-factual elements, including, but not limited to, certain statements regarding future results and other future events. These statements are based on the current vision and assumptions of the management of the Company. They incorporate known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could result in significant differences in results, profitability and expected events. In addition, Pherecydes Pharma, its shareholders and its affiliates, directors, officers, counsels and employees have not verified the accuracy of, and make no representations or warranties about, statistical information or forecast information contained within this news release and that originates or is derived from third party sources or industry publications; these statistical data and forecast information are only used in this press release for information purposes. Finally, this press release may be drafted in French and in English. In the event of differences between the two texts, the French version will prevail.

1 Tool developed by Pherecydes Pharma to select the most active phages on the collected bacterial strain.


Pherecydes Pharma
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Investor Relations
T.: +33 1 44 71 94 92

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Media Relations
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Last Updated: 03-Jan-2022