Three projects providing solutions that fight hospital-acquired infections (HAI) have been supported by BIO-X. They will share funding of SEK 6 million, to solve two of healthcare´s biggest challenges; high frequency infections of hospital patients and the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In Sweden, about 10 per cent of hospital and long-term care patients develop a hospital-acquired infection. This extends treatment on average by four days and costs the health service SEK 3.9 billion, not counting suffering and costs to society. Similar situations exist in other comparable industrial countries. Within the EU, approximately 41,000 patients die from HAI annually; the corresponding figure for Sweden is about 1,500 patients.
An advisory board selected three projects from 35 proposals submitted to BIO-X. The selected projects all aim to develop products that prevent or diagnose HAI. The successful projects are:Within BIO-X, need-driven projects, with participation from industry, academia and healthcare, are run during a two-year period. In addition to the financial support of up to SEK 2 million per project, each project receives process support according to a well-established and quality-assured industrial development model. The purpose of BIO-X is to support product ideas and research to generate a competitive proof of concept, so that the projects can continue to be developed on a commercial basis, in new or established businesses.
Urinary tract infections
A new method to reduce injury, infection, and pain during catheterization
A new device and method has been proposed to facilitate catheterization and reduce infections. This serves a real need since one third of HAI’s are associated with the urinary tract and are often the result of catheterization of patients who are unable to empty their bladder.
Principal Investigator: Christopher Holmström; Catheasy Västerås AB, Västerås
Antibacterial and biocompatible polymers to prevent the establishment of bacteria
Increasing antibiotic resistance increases the risks for surgical wound infections that account for approximately 17 per cent of HAIs. The new polymers that will be developed in this project will counteract surgical infections by preventing the establishment of bacteria and by promoting healing.
Principal Investigator: Peter Löwenhielm; SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, Stockholm
Analysis platform for ultra-rapid diagnosis of sepsis
This project combines processing of blood samples with specific detection and analysis, all in one system. This increases the potential for early and rapid diagnosis of sepsis, blood poisoning. Sepsis, is a serious infection caused by bacteria entering the blood. The onset can be very sudden, and it is vital to get the right care quickly, as sepsis leads to death in 20-30 percent of cases. Adequate treatment within 24-48 hours reduces mortality significantly. The need for a rapid diagnostic method is therefore great.
Principal Investigator: Aman Russom; KTH, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm
This is the third time Aman Russom has applied for BIO-X. Having now secured BIO-X support he hopes that it will give the group possibilities to test and evaluate their technical concept in a clinical environment.
Aman Russom said:
–I look forward to interactions with experts from the industry.
–I think that Uppsala BIO fills a gap between the academy and the industry. Our research is applied within nanotechnology and through the BIO-X program I hope to bring our innovations a step closer to use in the society.