In Vitro Studies of Phage Against Superbugs

After a potential new phage therapy has been designed and identified, the essential characteristics or parameters of the phage are understood. In addition, its efficacy in the context of the infection of interest must be determined. This can usually be done by testing in an appropriate cell line or in vitro infection model to determine if the desired efficacy can be obtained.

Ace Therapeutics offers in vitro evaluation services for phage therapeutics against superbugs, providing and customizing optimal bacterial infection models for phage efficacy testing.

In Vitro Characteristics of Phages

Characterization of the in vitro therapeutic potential of phages includes their activity, genomic profile, lytic properties, antimicrobial activity, biofilm effectiveness, and ability to overcome anti-phage systems, among others. These attributes can help guide the clinical application of phages.

Fig. 1 Some considerations for phage therapy before application.Fig. 1 Some considerations for phage therapy before application. (Forde A and Hill C, 2018)

In vitro studies provide valuable information on the potential use of phages and set clear and convincing rationale for future therapeutic development. Therefore, information from these in vitro models is needed. The development and use of models, as well as their reliable evaluation, require additional efforts.

Our In Vitro Study Services

Experimental in vitro efficacy studies are clearly useful for the development of phage therapies. We provide evaluation under conditions suitable for the target bacteria, infection, and potential therapeutic application.

The in vitro infection models we offer are listed below, describing their characteristics and applicability, and you can select or customize them according to your needs.

  • Biofilms. Drug-resistant bacteria usually grow as biofilms. Therefore, novel therapies such as biofilm-penetrating phages are a popular approach to treating bacterial infections. With biofilm in vitro models, phages can be tested for their efficacy in penetrating established biofilms and eradicating bacteria.
  • Cell lines. We offer cell lines commonly used in phage studies, including endothelial cell lines, epithelial cell lines, fibroblast cell lines, and more. You can mimic infection sites on appropriate cell lines to test phage therapies, providing valuable data on safety, efficacy, toxicity, and interactions.
  • Ex vivo models. We offer more complex ex vivo infection models, including simulated target disease occurrence environmental components, wound models, and more. These models can serve as valuable tools for studying the ability of phages to eradicate target bacteria in complex disease environments.

Our characterization methods to assess the in vitro therapeutic potential of phages include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Genomic and morphological characteristics. We usually combine genomic characterization with morphological analysis. This is a routine analysis step.
  • Host receptor identification. The host range of a phage can reflect its ability to infect strains of bacteria.
  • Stable storage, administration, and effectiveness in trials. This can provide relevant data on whether phages are acceptable for therapeutic applications.
  • Effectiveness on biofilm.
  • In vitro antibacterial activity.

Application of Our Services

  • Provide safety and efficacy characterization
  • Provide reliable preclinical data
  • Support potential phage product transformation

Please contact us if you require preclinical assessment services of phages for treatment of superbug infection.


  1. Forde A and Hill C. Phages of life–the path to pharma. British journal of pharmacology, 2018, 175(3): 412-418.
  2. Nale J Yand Clokie M R. Preclinical data and safety assessment of phage therapy in humans. Curr Opin Biotechnol, 2021, 68: 310-317.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.
Get in touch with our team immediately.