Last Chance to Save a Life: Australia Uncovered on SBS - In a world threatened by deadly antibiotic-resistant infections, new hope emerges from the unlikeliest of sources: viruses.

From the Emmy award-winning team at Genepool Productions, Last Chance to Save a Life follows patients, doctors, and scientists in nail-biting real time as they experience the extraordinary potential and challenges of ‘phage therapy’; an elusive therapy that could hold the key to humanity’s survival.

Consumed by the reality of untreatable superbugs and fuelled by an unwavering determination, teams of brilliant young scientists in Melbourne and Sydney, led by Professor Anton Peleg and Professor Jon Iredell, are attempting to harness the power of phages. Bacteriophages – or ‘phages’ for short – are viruses that destroy bacteria.

Conventional medical options are no longer an option for the patients, so they will be injected with trillions of phages, with the hope that the phages can defeat their bacterial enemy.

Neither the scientists nor the patients know if this radical approach will work. As the clock ticks, together they embark on an audacious experiment.

In this riveting real-time narrative, the power of human resilience shines brightly as patients and their families are faced with the reality of the failure of antibiotics, from the heartbreaking goodbyes of loved ones, to finding hope in unexpected recoveries.

Last Chance to Save a Life bears witness to the global renaissance in phage therapy, shining a light on Australia’s trailblazing contribution to dealing with arguably the greatest global health threat of our time.

Emma Watts, Director of Last Chance to Save a Life, says:

“When I first brought up phage therapy with my doctor friends I was met with extreme scepticism. They rolled their eyes at my naivety. Apparently, this strange medicine (that had been adopted by the Soviets) would ‘never catch on in the West.’ But over a few years, I watched as a handful of the world’s leading medical institutes began to research phage therapy. Eventually, I heard a whisper that a hospital close to home in Melbourne was about to start trials. I knew then this was a story I had to tell.”

Last Chance to Save a Life is a Genepool Productions film for SBS. Principal production funding from Screen Australia and SBS. Financed with support from VicScreen.

Last Chance to Save a Life: Australia Uncovered on SBS and SBS on Demand – premieres on Thursday 15 February, 2024 from 8:40pm.

Australia Uncovered, Season 3 premieres with Hitler’s Jewish Soldier? on Thursday 8 February on SBS and SBS On Demand from 8:40pm. The four-part collection continues weekly on Thursdays from 8:40pm. 

Last Chance to Save a Life: Australia Uncovered on SBS

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