The researcher said part of the center’s plan is to educate policy makers so that the rules can be changed for approving phage-based medications for humans without subjecting them to the same type of requirements for chemical pharmaceuticals.

He said phages will likely first be used in veterinary medicine because the barriers for testing for animal use are a lot lower. Veterinary applications could be in use within 10 years, Young believes.

“Once we are successful in veterinary applications, there will be a lot of pressure to get phage therapeutics approved for humans,” he said.

Young said the center is midway through its five-year development plan and is hiring faculty with phage expertise to conduct research and assist other scientists with projects where phage technology might be introduced. Young expects the phage center to eventually have 15 scientists developing different phages to target different needs.