N1 Technologies recently announced that the company has filed a biotech patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its Viritron VPN, an in-development bacteriophage treatment for patients with pneumonia.
Viritron VPN, like its predecessor Viritron VDX, is a bacteriophage, or natural organism, genetically modified to fight antibiotic-resistant pneumonias, namely methicillin‐sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, or Staph aureus, (MSSA) and methicillin‐resistant Staph aureus (MRSA).
Staph aureus are bacteria commonly found on people’s skin, and can be carried by as much as 30% of a healthy population of people in the nose or on the skin. If Staph enters the body, it cause infections that may be minor — like pimples, boils or other easy-to-treat skin conditions — or more serious, like blood infections or pneumonia.
Methicillin is part of a class of antibiotics commonly used to treat Staph infections. Although these antibiotics are very effective, some bacteria have developed resistance to the treatment.
Bacteriophages represent a new class of antimicrobials — a virus able to parasitize and kill bacteria that cause respiratory or systemic infections. Bacteriophages have been found in clinical trials to have a good efficacy profile at fighting strands of methicillin-resistant infectious bacteria. Bacterial resistance to bacteriophages is also minimal, and their manufacturing costs are lower than for antibiotics.
N1 Technologies is now working to develop a treatment for Staph and pneumonia infections based on bacteriophages. The company will hire geneticists and bioengineers to help it achieve this goal.
Once the treatment is fully developed, N1 Technologies will seek partners in the pharmaceutical industry to help with manufacturing and marketing processes.
“Entering this $30 Billion dollar [biotechnology] market is a big step for our company and we are very excited to be moving directly into this arena,” Steve Lovern, N1 Technologies’s chief executive officer, said in a press release. The company specializes in nanotechnology research.
Adults who are admitted to a hospital during school holidays are more likely to develop pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) than those who are admitted while school is in session, a study reports.
The study was carried out by Dr. Priya Daniel from the Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, U.K., and colleagues, and the findings were presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress that recently took place in London.