This year World Phage Week is marked by important developments in the European Union. In June 2023 the European Parliament has recognized the role of bacteriophages in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. In its Resolution on EU action against AMR, MEPS have called for appropriate regulatory framework for registering bacteriophages both as feed additives and as veterinary medicinal products. Just recently European Medicines Agency adopted its Guideline on quality, safety and efficacy of veterinary medicinal products specifically designed for phage therapy. This is an important step towards a robust and clear framework for registering phage products in the EU.
Bacteriophages, or phages, are the most numerous organisms on the planet. They are everywhere in our environment and our microbiome. Phages protect animals and humans from bacteria and control the number of bacteria in the environment. What is more, they are recognized as safe for humans and animals, improve animal and human health as well as reduce carbon emissions. This is why a phage based technology has been recently recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies in 2023.
Products based on bacteriophage technology have already been approved in many countries around the world. Access to innovative phage solutions in the European Union, however, still remains limited and Europe is lagging behind in this innovation. This is why PhageEU’s mission is to raise awareness among EU decision makers about the potential of phages and to realize their full potential.
For the occasion of World Phage Week 2023, PhageEU members have welcomed recent developments at the EU level and remain positive about the future. “We are very happy, that during World Phage Week 2023 we can celebrate the publication of the EMA guideline on quality, safety and efficacy of veterinary medicinal products specifically designed for phage therapy. This is an important step towards a robust and clear regulatory framework for phages, which is very much needed. The awareness of EU decision makers about the phages is growing and we are happy, that their potential has been recognized by the European Parliament in its resolution on EU action to combat AMR. However, a lot still remains to be done” comments Margareta Przybyla, a Brussels representative of PhageEU.
In its recently released work programme for 2024, the European Commission announced that it will launch a strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture in the EU. The aim of this dialogue is to engage stakeholders in a debate about the transition towards sustainable food systems. PhageEU believes, that phages should be part of this reflection process as they can greatly contribute to achieving sustainable food systems while addressing antimicrobial resistance, reducing emissions from agricultural production, contributing to food security as well as improving farm animals’ health and welfare.
“We are still at the very beginning of our road towards the widespread availability of phage products in the EU. PhageEU remains committed to raising awareness and being the voice of the phage community in the EU. We firmly believe that the recent developments will lead us towards a phage paradigm shift in the EU” underlines Margareta Przybyla, Brussels representative of PhageEU.
World Phage Week aims to increase the global community’s awareness of the life-saving potential of phages. In 2023 communication campaigns and awareness raising activities are undertaken by the global phage community from 22nd till 28th of October.
What is PhageEU
Phage EU is a coalition of likeminded stakeholders who represent phages in industry, the scientific community and civil society. We want to realize the full potential of phages in Europe. https://phageurope.eu
Margareta Przybyla, EU Public Affairs Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel : 0032 476 591 091