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Phase Genomics Wins $5.5M in NIH, Gates Foundation Grants for Therapeutic Phage Discovery

NEW YORK — Phase Genomics said on Thursday that it has received $5.5 million in grant funding to develop a predictive discovery engine for phage therapeutics based on its phage-bacteria interactome repository.

With the funding — which includes $3.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $2 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — Phase will use its ProxiMeta proximity-guided metagenomics platform to build an atlas of phage-bacteria interactions. The Seattle-based company will then develop artificial intelligence-based tools to identify phages that can be used for therapeutic applications such as the treatment of Clostridioides difficile infections, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.

The technology also holds potential for monitoring wastewater for treatment-resistant pathogens, Phase said.

"The potential to leverage the knowledge of how viruses and bacteria interact is immense," Phase Founder and CEO Ivan Liachko said in a statement. "We plan for the new phage atlas to serve as a resource to help combat pathogen outbreaks and other biological threats, including drug resistance caused by the overuse of antibiotics."

The new funding follows a $1.7 million grant Phase received in early 2021 from the National Institutes of Health to develop a platform for the discovery of novel viruses that can be used to develop therapeutics.

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