Vésale Bioscience, a leading company in the research and development of solutions and treatments using phage therapy for multi-resistant infections, has announced it has received €1.8M ($1.9M) in grants from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Fund for its PhageDiag project, a phagogram using artificial intelligence that enables decentralised diagnostics and personalized treatment.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top ten global public health threats facing humanity.
The EIC Accelerator jury highlighted in its decision that: “Vésale Bioscience is tackling the AMR global issue by developing a clear diagnosis that allows a personalized phage treatment which potentially gives a higher rate of success.”
Vésale Bioscience’s selected project, PhageDiag, is a fast and user-friendly diagnostic technology, or phagogram, for personalized phage therapy. It is the first automated in vitro diagnostic tool that enables a quick determination of suitable bacteriophages for treating a particular bacterial infection.
PhageDiag consists of a basic test kit (a disposable well plate with reagents), a high-performance luminometer and a dedicated software that offers the best matching phage combination to treat the patient, using artificial intelligence.
“Personalized phage therapy using magistral preparations of phages is among the most promising solutions to fight antimicrobial resistant infections. This approach requires a rapid diagnostic test to identify the pathogens involved in the infection and choose the phages that would be active on them,” said Dr Johan Quintens, chief scientific officer at Vésale Bioscience.
“Unlike current diagnostic methods, which take up to four to seven days, the PhageDiag phagogram compares the activity of up to 96 phages on a bacterial culture within two to three hours, making phage susceptibility testing accessible for hospital microbiology labs and enabling personalized therapy on a routine basis.”
“We work in close collaboration with the Belgian regulators. This was an additional factor in the EIC Accelerator jury’s decision to award us this grant for our PhageDiag project. It allows us to act as a ‘test’ case for Europe,” said Gunther Vanwezer, CEO of Vésale Bioscience.
The EIC is Europe’s flagship innovation program to identify, develop and scale-up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations. More than a thousand start-ups and SMEs submitted a full application to obtain funding from the EIC this year. Vésale Bioscience is among the 78 innovative companies that the EIC Accelerator selected at the end of 2022 to receive a grant.