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Eurostars Funds IMPACT2 To Establish A Break-Through Translational AMR Platform

Basel, Switzerland, November 15, 2018. 09:00 CET

BioSystems Technology, BioVersys and Voxcan join forces to establish IMPACT2 – an Innovative Multifaceted Platform for Antimicrobial Commercialisation Transformation Powered by Eurostars – a joint programme co-funded by EUREKA member countries and the European Union Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

BioSystems Technology, BioVersys and Voxcan announce funding for a total of about € 840’000, by Eurostars over a 3-year period for IMPACT2, a break-through innovative translational AMR platform that will expedite the development of novel new medicines in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

New treatments are urgently needed to combat high mortality rates due to the untreatable infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Gram-negative pathogens such as K. pneumoniae, A. baumannii, P. aeruginosa, E. coli and others. Novel intervention strategies are vital to respond to the AMR crisis however, current drug discovery tools are inadequate to properly address resistant pathogen strains.

IMPACT2 will offer a solution to transform antimicrobial drug discovery through a seamless platform for effective in vitro and real-time in vivo drug candidate screening and target validation. It will reduce drug candidate failures by streamlining pre-clinical evaluation directly in clinically relevant strains prior to testing candidates in expensive and time-consuming mammalian infection models.

IMPACT2 is composed of three component platforms which can be used to develop targeted therapies against Gram-negative infections:

  • BioVersys’ in vitro platform will provide clinically relevant characterized bioluminescent strains of Gram-negative pathogens for use in the development of in vivo real-time models. Marker-less gene knock-out and knock-in mutants of MDR clinical isolates for target confirmation and validation in the translational platform will be available.
  • BioSystems Technology’s TruLarvTM platform will establish in vivo larvae models using the bioluminescent strains to track intracellular pathogens and obtain an in vivo proof of concept, enabling this system to be used for high-throughput antimicrobial and toxicity in vivo compound screening.
  • Voxcan’s state of the art imaging technologies, BSL2 and BSL3 environments will allow realtime in vivo proof of concept and validation in predictive animal models of disease.

The entire platform will offer clients validation of novel AMR targets, rapid in vivo compound screening and real-time in vivo data such as optical localisation of infection sites, spread and quantitation of bacterial loads. AMR projects will also benefit from information on pharmacodynamics of new compounds through visualisation of the kinetics of bacterial clearance at multiple time points using clinically relevant strains.

This novel multifaceted translational platform will aid traditional and non-traditional (e.g. anti-virulence) antibiotic R&D companies to expedite their AMR projects more ethically from early research through to clinical development, reducing the numbers of animals used and lowering development costs.