Felix Biotechnology Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Institutes of Health to Power Phage Engineering Platform
14 Jul, 2022, 11:00 ET
A microfluidics phage screening platform will accelerate the development of generalizable phage therapies targeting deadly antimicrobial resistant bacterial infections.
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Felix Biotechnology has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant for $314,411 from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to develop a microfluidics platform for rapid, high-throughput screening of therapeutic bacteriophages that target disease-causing bacteria.
Bacteriophage, or phage, are natural predators of bacteria with enormous potential to treat bacterial infections, but most only kill a narrow range of bacteria which limits their clinical potential. To reach the clinic, Felix is engineering phage to kill a broader range of bacteria, and this requires large amounts of data on phage-bacteria interactions. Supported by this SBIR grant, Felix will develop new tools that accelerate the acquisition of this critical phage-bacteria interaction data.
"We are excited to apply the high throughput tools that have been developed in the microfluidics space to address the constraints that limit phage data collection," said UCSF professor Adam Abate, world-renowned microfluidics expert and collaborator on this project. Professor Abate continues, "With microfluidics we can generate the large amount of data needed to leverage the power of machine learning approaches to identify how to engineer viruses to kill a broader range of bacteria."
"Phage therapy has been around for a long time but has not reached its potential due to the narrow host ranges of most therapeutic phages. The tools being developed in this grant will allow us to overcome this key technical limitation and develop generalizable phage therapy to effectively treat antimicrobial resistant infections and save lives," said Rob McBride, co-founder of Felix.
As the incidence of deadly antimicrobial infections increases globally, Felix remains at the forefront of global efforts to create novel and effective solutions. Felix thanks the NIH and other funders for their generous support and efforts to shape a better future for global health.
Felix Biotechnology is focused on discovering, developing and deploying customizable antimicrobials targeting urgent microbial threats. Felix's discovery and engineering technology platforms, built on technology from Yale University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, generate solutions that overcome the key limitations of traditional antimicrobials to kill targeted bacteria while preserving healthy microbiome function. Felix is a seed stage company funded by multiple investors, including Y Combinator, Illumina Accelerator and Point72 Ventures. More information is available at www.felixbt.com.
For more on Felix Biotechnology, please visit: https://www.felixbt.com/
For more on the Adam Abate lab, please visit https://www.abatelab.org/
Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R43GM146502-01. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
SOURCE Felix Biotechnology, Inc.
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