Both antibiotic resistance and the microbiome are hot topics, and EpiBiome is developing a nonantibiotic, microbiome-based solution to fight human and agricultural infectious bacterial diseases. The company, based in San Francisco, is selectively targeting the infectious bacteria with bacteriophages. The first target is mastitis in dairy cows, which costs the industry $35 billion annually and is the top reason for antibiotic use in cows. EpiBiome's phage injections have been tested in mouse studies and a 24-cow field test is scheduled to begin next month. CEO Nick Conley said the company eventually plans to partner with a major animal health company and hopes to be ready for a commercial debut by 2020.
EpiBiome is also the recipient of a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Gates Foundation to study the applications of its technology for a particular E. Coli strain in infants. "We're landing in agriculture but we're going to expand into things like aquaculture, to human health, to oral and skin care, and to food safety," Conley said. EpiBiome also has a bacterial profiling service.
The company was one of eight finalists in the Innovative World Technologies category of the SXSW Accelerator pitch competition.
[Image courtesy of EPIBIOME]
|Get inspired to innovate during Massachusetts Medtech Week—register for BIOMEDevice Boston 2016, April 13-14.|