U.S. center will fight infections with viruses

22 June 2018  Vol 360, Issue 6395

In Depth
U.S. center will fight infections with viruses
By Kelly Servick
Science22 Jun 2018 : 1280-1281 Restricted Access
Proving ground for phage therapy will organize full clinical trials of the approach.
In the fight against antibiotic-resistant infections, a decades-old approach based on bacteria-slaying viruses called phages has been sidelined by technical hurdles, dogged by regulatory confusion, and largely ignored by drug developers in the West. But 2 years ago, researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), used phages to knock out an infection that nearly killed a colleague. Propelled by that success and a handful of others since, UCSD is now launching a clinical center to refine phage treatments and help companies bring them to market. The center, a first in North America, aims to be a proving ground for a treatment that has long been available in parts of Eastern Europe, but that still lacks the support of rigorous clinical trials.