First patient successfully treated with ε2 phage
PhagoMed partnered with Yale University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine to provide intra-articular phage therapy to a patient with a relapsing prosthetic joint infection. The successful treatment case has now been published in Pharmaceuticals and is the first use of an ε2 phage to treat a patient.
The 79-year-old female patient was initially diagnosed with a periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) in 2012 caused by S. epidermidis. Despite multiple revision surgeries (including 2-stage revision surgery) as well as long term suppressive antibiotic therapy, the periprosthetic joint infection relapsed every time the antibiotic therapy was discontinued. Complicating the case was the fact that the patient also suffered from life-threatening pancytopenia which required regular blood transfusions.
As the further treatment for the patient’s pancytopenia depended on resolving the PJI, a further revision surgery was planned. Adjuvant phage therapy was desired to improve the chances of success as previous revision surgeries had failed to cure the infection. Based on a patient isolate, PhagoMed was able to determine that one its proprietary ε2 phages, called PM448, a naturally engineered phage with optimized pharmaceutical characteristics, was able to suppress the S. epidermidis isolate for up to 48 hours in-vitro. None of the wild type phages tested showed efficacy against the patient isolate.
PM448 was subsequently purified for patient use at Yale University and the patient received PM448 as adjuvant following debridement and implant retention surgery under emergency use authorization by the FDA. The patient has since recovered well from the surgery and is so far relapse-free. In addition, the pancytopenia also improved to the point where the patient now no longer requires regular transfusions.
The full publication on the case report can be found here.