(Bloomberg) -- Covid-19 vaccine maker BioNTech SE plans to develop targeted antibiotics that could be used against superbugs, bacteria that are resistant to more conventional antibiotics. 

The German company is working on a type of synthetic antimicrobial called a Ribolysin, which could be deployed against antibiotics-resistant bacteria, Chief Medical Officer Ozlem Tureci said in a presentation to investors on Wednesday. The first patient trials of the platform should begin next year, Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin said. 

“The vision is here to build a new category of precision antibacterials,” Sahin said. The technology could also allow doctors to target only dangerous bacteria, leaving the body’s natural microbiome intact, he said. 

BioNTech acquired an Austrian biotech, PhagoMed, with precision antibiotics technology last year. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the top 10 global killers, causing more than 1 million deaths each year, Tureci said. 

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