PULMOBIOTICS: using synthetic biology to treat lung diseases

27 Apr 2020

The MycoSynVac project has ended on 31st March 2020, but it will leave different long-lasting marks. One example is the creation of a spin-off company from CRG called Pulmobiotics


Pulmobiotics S.L. is a pre-clinical life sciences company using synthetic biology to develop new treatments and vaccines for various types of lung diseases.


Pulmobiotics will engineer attenuated bacteria to deliver specific therapeutic agents, one of the most promising applications of the nascent field of synthetic biology. Engineered bacteria can ‘smartly’ deliver a precise amount of therapeutic molecules to the affected tissue, overcoming many of the limitations of current treatments.

Director of the CRG, Luis Serrano, PhD, says: “This is a great example of how an idea that sounded bizarre 15 years ago, like using bacteria as a living “pill” to treat or prevent human diseases, can become a reality. At these times, it shows that doing excellent curiosity-driven science can result in new health and commercial opportunities.”

Chief Scientific Officer, Maria Lluch, PhD, says: “The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the importance of finding new ways to treat and protect ourselves against infectious agents. The seed financing from Invivo Ventures will allow us to take the platform we developed at the CRG to the next stage: discovering and bringing to the clinic a new wave of live biotherapeutics and vaccines. We believe that once validated in the clinic, our platform has the potential to quickly bring to market vaccines against novel infectious agents and therefore may be of great value when facing similar situations in the future.

The company’s aim is to develop a product that reduces the use of antibiotics required to treat Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and is ready to be tested in patients from 2023 onwards.