Bacteriophage formulation for prevention of cholera infection optioned exclusively to PhagePro

A venture spun out of Tufts University School of Medicine


  • Formulation of three bacteriophages that replicate inside cholera bacteria and cause disintegration by rupturing the cell wall and membranes

Why it matters

  • Bacteriophage intervention affords immediate protection to at-risk populations, in contrast to the two weeks required for a cholera vaccine to take effect
  • Easy to administer, especially in the wake of natural disasters or other contexts that promote the spread of cholera in vulnerable communities
  • Specific for cholera bacteria: no marked disturbance of the gastrointestinal microbiome
  • Simple: single-dose liquid or tablet taken by mouth, self-administered


  • Andrew Camilli, Minmin Yen, Lynne Cairns

How it happened

  • Funding from National Institutes of Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Cholera-specific bacteriophages were isolated in stool samples from patients in Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Successfully completed validation of phage cocktail in animal model


  • PhagePro won second place in the Health & Life Sciences Track of the 2016 Tufts $100K New Ventures Competition
  • 2018 winner at MIT Women’s unConference Startup Competition
  • PhagePro operates from the Tufts Launchpad | Biolabs incubator and has been awarded an STTR grant from the National Institutes of Health