Antibiotics can be considered a blessing and a curse. Antibiotics have saved millions from falling victim to bacterial infections and were once hailed as a miracle of medicine.
Antibiotics have not changed a lot over the past few decades, which is unfortunate because bacteria has undergone a lot of chemical changes and has now become resistant to antibiotics. Due to our overuse of antibiotics, the strongest, most adapted strains of bacteria have been free to proliferate to the point in which our last line of antibiotics has proven unable to destory the bacteria.
A new generation of drugs is required to keep up with forever adapting bacteria. Luckily, a company from France is planning on creating a drug to wipe out bacteria from a different approach.
“Antibiotics are weapons of mass destruction: extremely powerful but imprecise,” said Eligo CEO Dr. Xavier Duportet in a statement. “With eligobiotics, we can precisely intervene on the microbiome – targeting specific bacteria for interventions of our choice. By engineering the microbiome itself with sniper-like precision, we can address the cause, not just the symptoms, of bacteria-associated diseases.”
Eligobiotics would use the gene-editing enzyme CRISPR-Cas9 to scan and eliminate disease with precise targeting. The antibiotic resistance demands a greater level of technological and biological advancements that standard treatments can’t match.
CRISPR is the latest and best in gene editing, holding the potential to edit out hereditary diseases like sickle cell. It’s being used for anything from cancer cures to creating crops.
Eligobiotics has big plans for the future, making comments on a potential pill that will act as your microbiome’s person janitor, cleaning up where needed and never harming your healthy cells.
“This is a bit futuristic, but eventually we envision having a pill that will clean your microbiome daily,” Duportet said to Business Insider. “It’s the ultimate form of personalized medicine.”
The WHO have estimated that if antibiotic resistant is not met with an equal or greater force, it could cause the death of over 10 million per year by 2050.
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