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The first in Russia Biological Resource Center for in-depth study of bacteriophages - viruses selectively attacking and killing microbes has started its work. The new organization has been created based on the Microgen Ufa subsidiary managed by Nacimbio holding of Rostec State Corporation. The Center will become a depository of a unique collection of microorganisms consisting of over 10 thousand strains.
The Biological Resource Center will be the first in the country to arrange fundamental studies of bacteriophages. The main goal of this work is to improve treatment-and-prevention drugs being an alternative to antibiotics.
“Demand on bacteriophages increases all over the world, which is related to the growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The task of the Biological Resource Center is to unite microbial commercial collections gathered in Russia. Today, it is over 10 thousand strains. The collection also includes bacteriophages for therapeutic use. This is a unique material of national value, based on which we will be able to create new types of medicines,” Oleg Yevtushenko, Executive Director of Rostec State Corporation, said.
The gathered collections of microorganisms will be used for the development of currently topical, clinically efficient and safe drugs. Such drugs may be used to treat and prevent infections in various areas: gastroenterology, urology, gynecology, surgery and others.
“The Center will study the bacteriophages properties, perform molecular genetic testing and selection. This will allow enhancing the scope of bacteriophages use, improving the techniques of their production, developing new drugs. But perhaps the most ambitious goal of the new center is the creation of the basis for transition to personalized phagotherapy in the next 5-7 years,” Andrei Zagorsky, CEO of Nacimbio, added.
Microgen is the only manufacturer of bacteriophage products in Russia. Today, 19 titles of medicines are developed and released. Commercial production is performed by three subsidiaries: Nizhny Novgorod enterprise ImBio, Perm NPO Biomed and Immunopreparat in Ufa. Bacteriophage products are some of the most in-demand in sales pattern of NPO Microgen. They account for 22% of annual sales of pharmaceutical products. In the period from 2017 to 2019, bacteriophages sales increased by over 25% in monetary terms.
In Russia, development of bacteriophage-based drugs is included into the Strategy on Prevention of the Spread of Antimicrobal Resistance in the Russian Federation to 2030 adopted by the Government of the RF.