Development of Engineered Phages Against Superbugs

With the global spread of drug-resistant bacterial infections, phage-based therapies are gaining attention. Screening for specific phages is also ongoing. In addition, the application of engineered phages is being explored. Based on our technology platform, Ace Therapeutics can provide development services for engineered phages targeting superbugs, which can be used to generate customized, biologically contained phages for the treatment of drug-resistant and difficult-to-treat bacterial infections.

Engineered Phages to Fight Superbugs

The coverage and efficacy of natural phages are limited, so studies using phages to treat bacterial infections often produce suboptimal results. However, evolving phage engineering technologies allow for versatile phage customization. Currently, it is possible to precisely design specific genes in the phage genome mainly through the use of advanced genome editing techniques such as recombination engineering, CRISPR-Cas, or in vitro synthetic genome assembly.

Fig. 1 Engineered phages could enhance anti-superbug efficacy.Fig. 1 Engineered phages could enhance anti-superbug efficacy. (Meile S, et al., 2022)

Overall, the use of custom-designed engineered phages is essential to accelerate phage therapy and treatment of superbug infections. Engineered phage therapies will be an important complementary strategy to address the global antibiotic resistance crisis.

Development Services of Engineered Phages Against Superbugs

Our services include detailed design and development of engineered phages, particularly for drug-resistant bacterial infections.

  • Phage genome engineering services. We design phage genomes to introduce desired genetic alterations based on a recombinant approach or assembly of synthetic DNA fragments.
  • Genome rebooting services. Different engineering approaches use synthetic, pre-assembled, recombinant phage genomes that are activated in suitable alternative hosts or cell-free systems.
  • Evaluation services for engineered phages. We perform safety, tolerability, long-term stability, immunogenicity, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics studies on engineered phages.

Customizable Functions of Engineered Phages

  • Breach the biofilm and capsule commonly associated with high resistance to phages and antibiotics.
  • Disrupt bacterial intracellular function and structure.
  • Enhance antibiotic susceptibility and neutralize virulence.
  • Confer sequence-specific toxicity.

Application of Our Services

Our phage engineering services allow for versatile phage customization and provide the basis for various applications to facilitate the development, and application of safe, broadly applicable, and efficient phage therapies.

  • Modulation of phage host range - We mainly expand and adapt the phage host range through receptor binding protein engineering.
  • Enhancement of antimicrobial efficacy - The antimicrobial efficacy of phages is enhanced by the introduction of the phage genome, which causes further antimicrobial action in infected cells.
  • Immunomodulation - Reprogramming phages to induce an immune response at the site of infection or using phages as nanoparticles for drug delivery, gene therapy, or as vaccine adjuvants.
  • Diagnosis - Use reporter phages for rapid screening of phage susceptibility profiles.

In order to fully exploit the untapped potential of phage therapeutics, we need engineering approaches. This includes genome engineering, synthetic biology, machine learning, etc. Targeted engineered phage therapies can help to effectively combat multi-drug resistant pathogens.

Ace Therapeutics provides an optimistic picture of the future for such engineered phage approaches. Contact us if you need to design and develop engineered phages.


  1. Meile S, et al. Engineering therapeutic phages for enhanced antibacterial efficacy. Current Opinion in Virology, 2022, 52, 182-191.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.
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