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Covid-19 vaccine maker BioNTech plans to develop targeted antibiotics that could be used against superbugs, which are bacteria that are resistant to conventional antibiotics.
The German company is working on a type of synthetic antimicrobial called a ribolysin, which could be deployed against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, chief medical officer Ozlem Tureci said in a presentation to investors on Wednesday. The first patient trials of the platform should begin next year, CEO Ugur Sahin said.
“The vision is to build a new category of precision antibacterials,” Sahin said. The technology could also allow doctors to target only dangerous bacteria, leaving the body’s natural microbiome intact, he said.
BioNTech acquired an Austrian biotech, PhagoMed, with precision antibiotics technology last year. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the top 10 global killers, causing more than a million deaths annually, Tureci said.
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