The recent development has resulted in a huge milestone in the field of phage therapy in Australia. The approval of the Standardised Treatment and Monitoring of Phage Therapy (STAMP) protocol for adult and pediatric patients who receive bacteriophage therapy. This protocol allows for the regulation of the phage therapy received, rather than focusing on a specific bacteriophage product.
The STAMP protocol was endorsed by the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) Clinical Research Network, consisting of a network of ID professionals who collaborate to promote and advance the quality of clinical ID research. The protocol has also been endorsed by the Australia and New Zealand Paediatric Infectious Diseases Group (ANZPID).
Phage therapy in Australia
Phage therapy in Australia is currently viewed as an experimental treatment. It is provided to patients who have qualified to receive treatment under the special access scheme (SAS) as determined by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), also referred to as “compassionate access”. Experience in administering phage therapy to patients, therapeutic administration methods are very diverse; from ointments or dressings, inhalation, instillation to specific sites and by injection. All the phage treatments are currently monitored by the hospital ethics and drug committees and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
In order to get access to phage therapy in Australia, a referral from a family doctor or specialist must be made to an infectious disease specialist. The infectious disease specialist can certify that all medical and surgical strategies had been attempted and then may suggest a referral to one of the members of Phage Australia for discussion. Members of Phage Australia will also require that a non-phage anti-infective strategy is closely and independently monitored during the course of the phage therapy and for a follow-up period of several weeks after.
About Phage Australia
Phage Australia is a network of phage researchers and clinical scientists that work together nationwide with the aim to professionalize phage therapy to become the third major intervention to address infectious diseases, after vaccines and antibiotics. The network’s primary goal is to establish phage therapy in the national pharmacopeia framework. This will allow bacteriophages to be used for prevention as sole or in adjunctive therapy, as well as the go-to therapy when antibiotics no longer work.
Phage Australia is building a national industry ecosystem composed of genomics, informatics, diagnostics, clinical trials, manufacturing, and internationally networked biobanks. Phage Australia provides all the necessary resources and publishes the latest developments on the topic.