“Phage therapy” means treatment of bacterial infections, using bacteriophage preparations. Bacteriophages, or phages, eliminate specific bacteria. After administration, (homological) phages start to multiply and use bacterial cells as “food” and leave the body once the pathogens are eliminated.
There have been reports on amazing antibacterial features of a number of rivers in India. The scientists who conducted research on this phenomenon at the beginning of the 20th century – Frederick Twort (Great Britain) in 1915, and Felix d’Herelle (Canada) in 1917 – independently reported the discovery of a microorganism capable of eliminating certain types of bacteria. Felix d’Herelle was the one to name it “bacteriophage”. As early as in 1920s, thousands of people suffering from dysentery, typhus, cholera and other infectious diseases were cured by bacteriophage preparations. But the success was followed by failure: lack of development in microbiology was marked by methodological flaws and phage preparations were often used without proper indications – for treatment of diseases caused by unidentified or non-homological pathogens, as well as those of non-bacterial origin. Obviously, in such cases, phage therapy was unable to demonstrate desired effects. As a result, its reputation within the medical circles was seriously damaged. In 1940s, the discovery of antibiotics put an end to all work on development of preventive and curative bacteriophage preparations in the West. However, in Georgia and several other republics of the Soviet Union, developments took a different turn.
Development of bacteriophages in USSR is related to the figure of George Eliava, who founded the Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and Virology (1934) in collaboration with Felix d’Herelle. From the very beginning, the institute was considered to be a leader for its achievements in the field of bacteriophage research. In 1980s, when there was no mention of phage therapy in the West, scientific staff of the institute consisted of up to a hundred and thirty workers, while production sector employed nine hundred and sixty people. Daily production volumes exceeded two tons of standardized preparations. This is the research and manufacture basis that Biochimpharm is founded on.
Phages are able to destroy bacteria, including their resistant forms. Phages are strictly specific. They selectively target certain bacteria and are unable to harm the cells of humans, animals, or plants. Specially selected phages contained in Biochimpharm preparations eliminate only the disease-causing bacteria without harming the beneficial microflora of human body. Hence, phage therapy has no side effects and does not cause any adverse changes. On a daily basis, from food and water, humans naturally take thousands, even millions of phages. Our intestinal microflora contains millions, sometimes billions of them. Administration of bacteriophage preparations for curative and preventive purposes poses no unwanted threat to our health. This is the advantage of phage therapy over chemical preparation use.
World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized antibiotic (or bacterial) resistance, as a life-threatening global problem. It is the ability of bacteria to become invulnerable to effects of certain antibiotics, which they couldn’t resist before. During the last decades, antibiotics have had difficulties with surmounting infections caused by resistant bacteria. According to existing statistics, fewer and fewer successful groups of antibiotics are created every decade. Antibiotic resistance proves to be one of the greatest issues in contemporary times. Phage technology and therapy have proven their potential to overcome the problem of antibiotic resistance. Nowadays, phages are the only viable alternative to antibiotics.
• Bacteriophages (or phages) are the most abundant organisms on earth;
• Phages are safe for humans, animals and plants.
• Specially selected Phages, contained in curative and preventive preparations, eliminate only the disease-causing bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Unlike other, chemical preparations, they do not harm the beneficial microflora of human body;
• Phages do not have any adverse effects; They don’t harm liver and kidneys, do not cause dysbiotic changes etc.;
• Bacteriophages can be used in children, patients with immunodeficiency, and during pregnancy;
• Bacteriophages can be used with other preparations and medications, including antibiotics; in which case it increases effectiveness of antibiotic treatment;
• The only active ingredient in these preparations is one or more types of bacteriophages;
• Manufacturing of bacteriophage preparations is an ecologically clean process;
• Phages can be used not only for treatment but also for prophylaxis of bacterial infections;
• With the help of bacteriophage technology, bacterial pathogens can be defeated not only in medicine, but in other spheres as well; For example, food safety, agriculture, environmental safety, etc.