EpiBiome, a microbiome engineering company based in San Francisco, is busy developing next generation antibacterials to fight a real problem; the growing threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Their focus is also on engineering the human microbiome using technology called“phages”, or bacteria-specific viruses. These “phages” are natural enemies of bacteria, essentially injecting it with the flu and killing it. They then go on to attach to other bacteria and do the same. Bacteriophages, or “phages” for short, have been around for a billion years and are still an effective evolutionary battle around today.
EpiBiome is working to get these FDA-approved alternatives to traditional antibiotics, by using phage mixtures that will target and destroy known pathogens which have been formulated into a treatment for a specific indication. EpiBiome’s wide focus is not only on agriculture and human health, but also they have cast a wide net on solving the same issues in clean water development, aquaculture and food safety.
Nick Conley, now Chief Science Officer, sits down to explain the critical importance of finding innovative ways to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria and the threat it poses on our future.