July 13, 2015

Ferring Pharmaceuticals moves forward with early stage development of bacteriophage therapy for inflammatory bowel disease

Saint-Prex, Switzerland, 13 July 2015 – Ferring Pharmaceuticals announced today that it will collaborate with Baltimore-based Intralytix, Inc. in the latest phase of its early stage development programme for a bacteriophage-based therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. They were isolated for the first time a century ago and discovered to be antibacterial agents. More recently, researchers linked a specific strain of bacteria, adherent and invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC), to Crohn’s disease1, a chronic IBD condition. To explore the possibility that bacteriophages could be used to combat AIEC in IBD patients, Ferring first collaborated with the University of Lille, University of Auvergne and DigestScience, a foundation dedicated to research on digestive diseases, to better understand AIEC. Then, together with the Institut Pasteur and Intralytix, Ferring developed a combination of bacteriophages specifically designed to target AIEC strains found in Crohn’s disease patients.

In the collaboration announced today, Intralytix will assist Ferring in formulating and manufacturing the bacteriophages for use in clinical trials, which are expected to begin as soon as 2016.

“Crohn’s disease is a painful and debilitating condition with limited treatment options,” said Per Falk, Executive VP and Chief Scientific Officer at Ferring. “Our development program to bring relief to CD patients with our bacteriophage treatment directed against AIEC bacteria is ongoing.”

– ENDS –

About Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Headquartered in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of reproductive health, urology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and orthopaedics. Ferring has its own operating subsidiaries in nearly 60 countries and markets its products in 110 countries. To learn more about Ferring or its products please visit www.ferring.com.

For further information:

Patrick Gorman
Tel. +41 (0) 58 301 00 53

Helen Gallagher
Tel. +41 (0) 58 301 00 51


1. Barnich N, Boudeau J, Claret L, Darfeuille-Michaud A. Regulatory and functional co-operation of flagella and type 1 pili in adhesive and invasive abilities of AIEC strain LF82 isolated from a patient with Crohn’s disease. Mol Microbiol. 2003;48(3):781–794.; Barnich N, et al. CEACAM6 acts as a receptor for adherent-invasive E. coli, supporting ileal mucosacolonization in Crohn disease. J Clin Invest.2007;117(6):1566–1574; Chassaing B, et al. Crohn disease–associated adherent-invasive E. coli bacteria target mouse and human Peyer’s patches via long polar fimbriae.J Clin Invest. 2011;121(3):966–975

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