Phage therapy gets exposure on TED.com
Alexander Belcredi speaks at TED@BCG - October 3, 2018 at Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Vienna, 16 November 2018: Today the first TED talk on phages and phage therapy went live on TED.com. In the talk, PhagoMed’s Co-Founder and CEO Alexander Belcredi recounts how he became fascinated by phages, their history of the discovery of phages and their potential in therapeutic applications. The talk was initially recorded at the TEDatBCG conference in Toronto, Canada in early October and subsequently selected to be published on TED.com
Bacteria are a well-known fact of life. Their existence is taught to children and covered extensively in every biology class. Phages are similarly well-known within the scientific community for their widespread existence and ability to infect and kill bacteria. However, so far phages are less known to the general public – despite phages being the most ubiquitous natural entity on earth
TED talk recognizes the importance and relevance of phages The TEDatBCG conference selected PhagoMed’s Co-Founder and CEO Alexander Belcredi as a speaker to spread the knowledge of phages and phage therapy. The TED talk delivered by Mr. Belcredi in Toronto, Canada covers how he first got to know about phages, the biology behind them as well as the scientific history of how phages were discovered and first used. The talk also places phages within the context of the wider antibiotics crisis, in which phages could play a pivotal role for the development of alternatives to antibiotics. “It is a great honour to be able to share the knowledge of phages through a TED talk. At PhagoMed we firmly believe that phages are one of the most underutilized resources in our fight against multi-drug resistant bacteria.” says TED speaker Alexander Belcredi. “We hope that sharing the idea of phages and phage therapy will provide additional positive recognition for the efforts PhagoMed and other biotechs are making in bringing phage therapy back to life in key medical applications.
About PhagoMed Biopharma GmbH PhagoMed Biopharma GmbH is a biotech company focused on the development of human therapeutic applications of phage therapy. Its development programs are based on the last-resort treatment experiences of its clinical co-founders with phages as well as research collaborations with highly prestigious scientists and research institutions in Germany (Leibniz-Institute DSMZ-German collection of microorganisms and cell cultures GmbH, Braunschweig as well as Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen) and Belgium (Ghent University). Since its incorporation in November 2017, the company has raised more than €4 million in public grants and private investments. Amongst others, the company is supported by grants from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws). Currently, PhagoMed currently has a team of ten highly skilled scientist working on its programs at the Campus Vienna Biocenter in Vienna, Austria as well as the research partners.
About Phages Phages are viruses that only infect bacteria. Phages multiply by injecting their DNA into the bacteria and reprogramming the bacteria cells to produce new phages. As soon as sufficient phages have been produced by the bacteria, the phages express special enzymes that degrade the bacterial cell wall and lead to the death of the bacterial cell. Individual phages are only active against a limited spectrum of bacteria (typically even only within one species). The combination of high selectivity as well as high effectiveness in killing bacteria makes phages highly attractive as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of serious bacterial infections.