Partnered Synthetic Phage Program
Proprietary synthetic phage candidates designed to target an undisclosed infectious disease agent are being developed in partnership with Merck.
Our proprietary phage engineering platform serves to enhance the clinical and commercial prospects of phage therapy. These attributes include expanded host range, improved potency which is a fundamental drug property that can translate into improved clinical efficacy, and importantly, biofilm disruption, which is a critical aspect of serious infections that needs to be addressed.
In addition to our more advanced pipeline programs, Armata has phage discovery efforts underway to target other major pathogens of infectious disease (including the ESKAPE pathogens: Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species), and preventable disease of the microbiome.
Phage Targeting ESKAPE Pathogens
Microbiologists at Armata are actively hunting for natural phages that target ESKAPE pathogens, and to evaluate the suitability of these phages for engineering using our proprietary synthetic phage platform.
The developing science of the microbiome highlights the potential to impact a broad array of human disease, from oral healthcare to systemic diseases, such as autoimmunity, and immuno-oncology. The complexity of the developing science demands a broad effort in clarifying microbial-host interactions, designing intervention strategies, and crafting a viable clinical path. Armata’s strategy is to seek partners that share a long-term commitment to develop meaningful microbiome therapies utilizing natural and/or synthetic bacteriophages.
Streptococcus mutans is recognized as the major causative agent of dental caries (tooth decay). Due to the infective mode of action of phages, they have the potential to eliminate S. mutans from the pathological niche, enabling the oral microbiome to be reengineered to a healthy state. Phase 2 clinical trials (under U.S. IND) with C16G2, the lead antimicrobial peptide derived from our STAMP Platform, demonstrated a selective reduction of S. mutans in the oral cavity. Given Armata’s extensive experience with S. mutans, and the clinical expertise and infrastructure at our disposal, we believe a synthetic S. mutans phage engineered to express C16G2 could offer a valuable treatment and prevention option for millions of children, adolescents and adults worldwide.
The field of bacteriophages for oral pathogens is underdeveloped. Armata has active efforts to identify oral pathogen phages and has executed collaborative agreements related to specific S. mutans phages. We are interested in additional collaborations with scientific leaders who are pioneering phage hunting for oral pathogens.