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Vail Daily letter: Local connection

Gary Mesch
Executive chairman, MicroPhage
letters@vaildaily.com

Dear Ms. Schnell,

Thanks for your informative article March 1 on MRSA in the Daily. You might be interested to know that quite a number of Vailites are very involved in fighting the MRSA problem as well as other resistant bacteria through establishing MicroPhage.

MicroPhage, which sprang out of research done at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, is providing a novel rapid ID of staph, both MSSA and MRSA strains. This will give hospitals a new and much-needed tool to get the right AB drug to the patient fast, thus saving lives, saving costs, and reducing the further pressure on staph to gain even more resistance.

A motivated group of angel investors under the banner of Vail’s Alpine Angels supplied the start-up money as well as ongoing business guidance.

MicroPhage has its CE mark, is selling in Europe and is in submission with the FDA for clearance to market in the U.S. U.S clearance is expected in a few months.

Although MicroPhage intends to provide ID and susceptibility for many bacteria, the first product for MSSA/MRSA is a blood test to be followed by skin and soft tissue and MRSA hospital screening. The first test is the only test which can cut the time (from three days to five hours) for determining whether a patient has SA and whether it is resistant or susceptible and therefore getting the patient onto Vancomycin or Naphcillin. The greatest clinical utility has shown to be getting the patients proactively but wrongly on Vanco over onto Naphcillin when they are found to have MSSA not MRSA. Two or more needless days on Vanco can be dangerous or even fatal.

Another unique feature of the MicroPhage test is that it requires no machines (e.g. PCR cyclers), is run on a simple lateral flow device and can be performed by techs with only limited training. Therefore, it is very inexpensive and doesn’t require a hospital lab. Dr Connie Price, whom you might know, is familiar with MicroPhage.

The MicroPhage Team is based in Longmont but regularly comes to Vail to update their many investors here.


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