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Viruses have a bad rap, but biotech entrepreneur Alexander Belcredi cautions against condemning all viruses because of a deadly few. Phages are microscopic viruses that can target and destroy disease-causing bacteria. Investors and health practitioners take note: Belcredi predicts that medicines containing these viruses may be the next big thing to emerge from the pharmaceutical industry. 

Summary

In 2013, following multiple knee surgeries, a patient developed an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection in her leg. Amputation seemed to be the only recourse. As a last resort, her doctor enrolled her in a drug trial using phages, microscopic viruses that selectively “hunt, infect and kill bacteria.” Within three weeks, the infection had disappeared.

Some 10 billion microscopic phages live on each of your hands at a given time. A phage hunts just one bacterial species. The virus latches onto the bacterium’s cell wall and injects its DNA, forcing its victim to produce duplicate phages. Once...

About the Speaker

Alexander Belcredi is a co-founder of PhagoMed Biopharma, a biotech company.


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