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Intralytix Wins Army Grant To Develop A Phage-Based Probiotic To Manage Shigella Infections

15 years ago

PRESS RELEASE - 10/07/2009

Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. - October 7, 2009.?Intralytix, Inc. announced today that it has received a U.S. Army Phase I STTR grant supporting the development of a bacteriophage-based probiotic preparation for managing Shigella infections.

"Shigella species are major gastrointestinal (GI) tract pathogens of particular concern to the US Army, and they are a significant worldwide cause of diarrheal disease," stated Alexander Sulakvelidze, Intralytix's Chief Scientist and Principal Investigator of the STTR grant.  He added: “The bacterium has been estimated to cause ca. 90,000 foodborne cases of shigellosis/year in the United States, and ca. 165 million worldwide cases of shigellosis/year.? Approximately 163 million of the latter illnesses occur in developing countries (including countries where US troops are stationed), where they cause ca. 1.1 million deaths annually.? The award will enable Intralytix to begin proof-of-concept studies during which we will develop tools to examine the value of using naturally occurring bacteriophages (or phages) delivered as part of a probiotic diet to reduce significantly the incidence and severity of shigellosis. Although not typically thought of as probiotic organisms, bacteriophages clearly fit the latter's definition adopted by?the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and we believe that such novel, phage-based probiotics may become invaluable for the future management of Shigella infections.? Intralytix's CEO, John Woloszyn, further added "In addition to supporting the development of an exciting new product, we believe that the data obtained during the grant will enable us to develop a completely new line of phage-based products for Intralytix's portfolio."? He added that: "Using bacteriophages as probiotic/nutraceutical products is a novel idea, and our company holds a patent for using phages to reduce bacterial colonization , including colonization of the GI and nasal tracts . If the studies performed during our Phase I project are successful, as we fully anticipate, they will provide a strong basis for moving forward with Phase II grant support from the Army, which will play a major role in bringing this exciting technology and product closer to the marketplace." Mr. Woloszyn also noted that Army grants have previously supported and continue to support Intralytix's development of other phage-based products, including food additives that protect food from contamination with Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Shigella, and a preparation for treating Acinetobacter baumannii-infected wounds. Finally, he noted that, while the U.S. Army's Research Office supports the project, such support does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the U.S. Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Intralytix, Inc is a biotechnology company focused on using its core bacteriophage/phage technology platform to improve human health through the development and commercialization of innovative products for food safety and human therapeutics.

For more information, contact John Woloszyn (410-625-0300 / or Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze (410-625-2533 /