|Bacteriophages in medicine, agriculture and food industry – application perspectives, innovation and regulatory issues
In view of the major challenges to the health of humans, animals and the environment (One Health), especially due to antibiotic resistance, phages represent a relevant option – the potential of which should be investigated and exploited more intensively. Under the current framework conditions, however, it seems to be unlikely that the use of phages for therapeutic purposes in medicine or for applications in agriculture and the food industry will become established in the EU or in Germany better or on a larger scale than it has been so far. To achieve this, it would be necessary to make the legal framework conditions more suitable and flexible, to create special approval programmes and economic incentive structures (e. g. for novel antimicrobial drugs) and to promote research and development activities on phages in a more targeted way. A more intensive exchange on these issues between politics, science, industry, regulatory authorities and – in the case of phage therapy – stakeholders from the health system, such as health insurance companies and patient representatives, should be strived for. This could be the starting point both for tangible practice-oriented steps to design regulations at the national level and for initiatives to make regulation at the EU level more flexible. TAB-Fokus no. 43 provides a compact four-page overview of the contents and results of the TAB report (in German only): "Bakteriophagen in Medizin, Land- und Lebensmittelwirtschaft – Anwendungsperspektiven, Innovations- und Regulierungsfragen. Innovationsanalyse" (for details see Relations in KITopen).