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Project name:

EIC Pathfinder-A Spanish Foundation is looking for companies with expertise in developing wound dressings for wound care, especially to avoid wound infection and/or to treat chronic, non-healing wounds.

Status: Idea
Creation date: 03-02-2023

Project objectives:

Short summary A Spanish private Foundation is looking for companies to join an EIC Pathfinder Open proposal with the aim to develop a new class of antibiotics that will be encapsulated into liposomes or hydrogels for coating wound dressings to be applied on skin and SSTIs caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. They are looking for companies with experience in teh development of wound dressings for wound care.

Full description The increase in skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) because of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens is a global concern. The age-standardized incidence is 169.72 million leading to a DALYs of 0.41 million. In the initial stages of chronic wound formation, gram-positive organisms, specifically S. aureus, are predominant. In the later stages, gram-negative E. coli, Pseudomonas and A. baumannii species are observed and tend to invade deeper layers of skin causing significant tissue damage. Furthermore, Staphylococci and Streptococci species are also found in 50% of chronic wounds. MRSA and CRAB are included in the ESKAPE group defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and also in the priority list of critical pathogens by the WHO. In 2019, CRAB caused more than 12,000 deaths in patients with skin and SSTIs infections worldwide. In addition, this pathogen is frequently found in acquired infections in healthcare facilities and medical equipment, especially in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Together with the minimal treatment options (reduced efficacy of last-line antibiotics), these features make it a challenging threat to hospitalized patients. MRSA is a common contaminant of healthcare facilities showing an infection pattern similar to A. baumannii, responsible for more than 37,500 deaths related to skin and SSTIs in 2019 worldwide. This high human cost forms the rationale of why we will focus our proposal on MRSA and CRAB. In addition, hard-to-close chronic wounds affect more than 40 million patients globally and represent a severe growing burden for the healthcare systems, with annual costs exceeding $15 billion by 2022. Only in Europe, 4 million patients suffer from chronic wounds every year, requiring 25%–50% of acute hospital beds. Furthermore, the costs associated with chronic wound treatments represent at least 4% of the national annual budget, subdivided in 15%–20% for materials, 30%–35% for healthcare providers and more than 50% for hospitalization. As a consequence of this long-term hospitalization, hard-to-close wounds also negatively impact the society wellness, with a significant reduction in the available workforce. Therefore, introducing a new antibiotic against the priority bacteria will reduce these numbers having a high impact on society and the economy. At a social level, the transference of this new class of antibiotics would be a significant step in the improvement of the health and well-being of citizens, reducing the morbidity/mortality associated with the treatment failures of skin and SSTIs infections. Overall, the development of this class of antibiotics could eventually result in a new therapy to eradicate CRAB and MRSA hospital-acquired infections, with significant socio-economic benefits to society. The main objective of the present project is to develop a wound dressing containing a LEAD compound and complete preliminary preclinical studies to evaluate in vivo safety and antibacterial efficacy against MDR bacteria causing skin and SSTIs infections. They envision the EIC Pathfinder as the most appropriate financial support to successfully address the challenges of the project and bring our product from TRL2 to TRL5 through the following objectives: O1: Synthetic development and optimization of new G3Cs O2: Characterization of these new G3Cs in terms of antibacterial activity and toxicity O3: Encapsulation of G3Cs into liposomes and/or hydrogels. O4: Determine their toxicity, pharmacokinetic properties and effectivity in animal models of infection O5: Coating wound dressing O6: Definition of the best IPR and regulatory roadmap O7: Market assessment and lead positioning O8: Effective communication and engagement

Advantages and innovations They would like to develop a novel antibiotic class based on gold(III)-complexes (G3Cs) with high activity against Staphylococcus aureus and A. baumannii that provide a new alternative for those cases in which the currently available antibiotics are not able to stop the infection Technical Specification or Expertise Sought They search for a European company that could develop would dressings coated with their asset that could be used to treat skin infections.
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