GangaGen Life Sciences Inc. and the University of
Nottingham are engaging in a major research project to develop a
bacteriophage-based treatment for the control of Campylobacter bacteria in
GangaGen and the university are both leaders in bacteriophage research.
Phages are naturally occurring agents that target and destroy bacteria with a
high degree of efficiency, and do so selectively and specifically, without
affecting beneficial bacteria or body cells.
The aim of this agreement is on building a business relationship to
commercialise phage technology developed at the university that complements the
existing phage expertise of GangaGen.
GangaGen is a developer of therapeutics based on phage technology for the
control of disease-causing bacteria. The work on a phage product for the control
will complement the GangaGen's food safety
product portfolio, which also includes phage products against Salmonella
and E. coli O157:H7.
Reducing the risk to consumers
Dr Ian Connerton, Northern Foods Professor of Food Safety, the University's
research partner in the agreement: "Our team's research has demonstrated that
certain phages specific for Campylobacter can significantly reduce the load of
the bacteria carried by poultry. By implication, this should also reduce the
risk to consumers by decreasing bacterial contamination of meat that is
prevalent in poultry processing and is transferred to chicken meat on grocery
"GangaGen believes that the place to start fighting food safety-related
bacteria is at the farm where livestock production takes place, and this
research agreement with the University of Nottingham allows us to continue
building on that premise," said Dr Rainer Engelhardt, CEO of GangaGen Life
Sciences Inc. "The food industry and its regulators have stated that they
believe that timely intervention is needed at the farm level to supplement the
extensive, but not fully effective, controls already in place in food
processing. GangaGen has demonstrated in production animal trials that we can
isolate and use phages efficaciously, with full regard for safety, and that the
phages are benign to animals, humans and the environment."
"The combination of these two research teams provides strong impetus for
creating a safe, effective and low cost solution to this pernicious consumer
health risk," said Engelhardt.