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1.

PATH International

Better tools to detect signs of severe illness in children

  • 28 Million
  • United States
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Better tools to detect signs of severe illness in children
Company Name PATH International
Funded By 107
Country United States , Northern America
Project Value 28 Million
Project Detail

DISEASE Malaria TYPE Diagnostics LEAD GRANTEE PATH GRANT FOCUS To equip primary health care workers with easy-to-use devices so they can better identify severely ill children and refer them for treatment. STATUS Current TIME FRAME 2019-2023 GRANT VALUE US$ 28,442,480 Devices to measure vital signs such as oxygen in blood help identify children who require urgent care Challenges In 2017, more than five million children died before the age of 5, most of them from diseases that can be prevented and treated. Low oxygen in the blood is one of the main signs of severe illness, but tools for measuring blood oxygen levels are often not available in low-income countries. There are no standard specifications to guide countries in choosing the best devices, and no information is available on their cost-effectiveness or suitability for primary care. Lacking these important devices, frontline health workers have difficulty identifying children who might require immediate hospitalization. Patients may receive medicines they don’t need. Misuse of antibiotics, in turn, gives rise to drug-resistant superbugs. The World Health Organization recommends pulse oximeters for primary health care as part of integrated management of childhood illness, but they are rarely used. Solutions PATH will work with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in India, Kenya, Myanmar, Senegal and Tanzania to pilot easy-to-use pulse oximeters in primary health care. The partners will gather data on the devices’ affordability, feasibility and impact. They will also help countries with procurement of the devices and to develop policies on their use. The project also seeks to develop portable devices that can read more than one vital sign. A single device, for example, could measure blood oxygen and hemoglobin. The impact we are seeking Identifying severely ill children at the primary health care level can reduce child mortality. When a health care tool targets multiple diseases, patient care is improved and costs are reduced. PATH’s project supports this integrated approach, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Unitaid is funding a similar project to pilot pulse oximeters with ALIMA, in four African countries.

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Contact Details

Company Name PATH International
Address Seattle, Washington, United States
Web Site https://unitaid.org/project/better-tools-to-detect-danger-signs-in-children/#en

2.

EUROPEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY

Understanding Circumventing Antibiotic REsistance

  • 2 Million
  • Germany
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Understanding Circumventing Antibiotic REsistance
Company Name EUROPEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY
Funded By 38
Country Germany , Western Europe
Project Value 2 Million
Project Detail

The evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance has become a public health concern of the utmost severity, making once treatable diseases deadly again and undermining our living standards. New therapies are imperative, but equally important are the understanding of the full repertoire of drivers of antibiotic resistance and the identification of ways to counteract them. We have recently established that ~250 non-antibiotic drugs have direct, strong and often broad antibacterial effects on human gut microbes. Moreover, preliminary data indicate that bacteria use similar general resistance mechanisms against both drugs with human targets and antibiotics. This implies that polypharmacy may be a hitherto unnoticed driver of antibiotic resistance. We will use chemical genetics and experimental evolution to systematically map the cross-resistance between human-targeted drugs and antibiotics, and elucidate underlying resistance mechanisms. Using these data, we will next seek to identify antidotes for the antimicrobial side-effects of non-antibiotic drugs, and exploit human-targeted drugs for reverting existing antibiotic resistance. At the genetic level, we will use high-throughput reverse genetics to expose the Achilles heels of bacterial cellular networks for resistance development. Finally, we will uncover the antimicrobial mode of action of tens of human-targeted drugs using thermal proteome profiling and chemical genetics. Together with the genetic information, this line of research will yield design principles and possibly new drug candidates for longer-lived, resistance-proof drug combinations. Overall, this project aims at improving our fundamental biological understanding of antibiotic resistance and the paths to prevent, delay or revert it. It can also set the basis for revisiting current medication policies. The derived principles are likely to be relevant to other diseases and therapies, in which resistance development is an issue.

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Contact Details

Company Name EUROPEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY
Address Meyerhofstrasse 1 69117 Heidelberg
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/220906/factsheet/en

3.

RIJKS UNIVERSITEIT GRONINGEN

Development of antibacterial compounds that block essential transport function

  • 150,000
  • Netherlands The
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Development of antibacterial compounds that block essential transport function
Company Name RIJKS UNIVERSITEIT GRONINGEN
Funded By 107
Country Netherlands The , Western Europe
Project Value 150,000
Project Detail

Development of new antibiotics is crucial in future since antibiotic resistance is a rapidly growing problem, which severely threatens our ability to combat infectious diseases. Despite the numerous efforts by International Organisations and Governments, Pharmaceutical companies are reluctant to carry out the costly drug development, as the returns are uncertain and evolving drug resistance weakens their business case further. New solutions are thus called for. We have obtained fundamental insight in the mechanisms and proteins, which mediate uptake of multiple B-type vitamins that are indispensable for bacterial growth. The proteins are the only route for vitamin acquisition in many notorious pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae, against which novel antibiotics are urgently needed. Based on our breakthrough crystal structures, we have designed and synthesized molecules that allosterically inhibit the uptake of multiple vitamins. This has led to the discovery of several compounds having potential as antibiotic medicines. What is exciting, our approach enables to target specific pathogens, without affecting many beneficial strains, thereby being effective without causing adverse drug events, which is a major advantage compared to the traditional antibiotics. In the Proof of Concept project, we aim to explore the potential of the compounds for drug development and test them thoroughly, for obtaining important proof for potential partners and investors. In addition, we will carry out pre-commercialisation studies aiming at perfecting the commercialisation strategy, protecting the IP ad well as strengthen the network for the best possible commercialisation outcome. Given the technological and pre-commercial proof of concept will be successful, we are expecting our approach to raise a lot of interest in Pharmaceutical industry, racing to find new ways to tackle the antimicrobial resistance.

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Company Name RIJKS UNIVERSITEIT GRONINGEN
Address 9712 CP Groningen, Netherlands
Web Site https://erc.europa.eu/projects-figures/erc-funded-projects/results?f%5B0%5D=call_year%3A2018&page=97

4.

BIOTRACK BV

Diagnostics device for rapid identification and antibiotics susceptibility testing of pathogens

  • 71,429
  • Netherlands The
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Diagnostics device for rapid identification and antibiotics susceptibility testing of pathogens
Company Name BIOTRACK BV
Funded By 38
Country Netherlands The , Western Europe
Project Value 71,429
Project Detail

Biotrack is a SME focused on the development and commercialization of novel microbial detection technology to achieve real time and actionable diagnostics. Our technology is covered with a solid patent portfolio. We have identified a high market need for new pathogen detection techniques due to 2 main reasons: A) Dependency on standard microbiological protocols might delay early diagnosis; B) Growing demand for research and innovation, and a better quality and patient-centered technology due to the dramatic spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. Biotracks innovative solution, Biotrack-MED, is a micro-laboratory capability solution for the rapid detection, identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing of pathogens in any biological sample. Biotrack-MED is a fast and effective user-adaptable solution that combines multiple analytical principles for microbial identification and antibiotic pre-screening (total operative time: 0,5-4 hours), and its capable of analyzing any microorganism (bacteria, virus, yeast). Our solution can be placed anywhere (includes a complementary mobile app) and it is equipped with state-of-the-art privacy and decision-making tools. Biotrack-MED offers a cost-effective low-cost substitution (50% saving) of traditional laboratories, and it does not require any skilled personnel to be used. Considering the advantages of our unique healthcare solution, our expected customers in the EU are public and private hospitals and clinics. We have estimated that 5 years after start of commercialization we will reach a ROI of 5.8.

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Contact Details

Company Name BIOTRACK BV
Address Agora 4 8934 Cj Leeuwarden
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/224452/factsheet/en

5.

CLEMEDI AG

A novel in-vitro diagnostic test for drug-resistant tuberculosis and a personalized antibiotic treatment plan.

  • 71,429
  • Switzerland
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A novel in-vitro diagnostic test for drug-resistant tuberculosis and a personalized antibiotic treatment plan.
Company Name CLEMEDI AG
Funded By 38
Country Switzerland , Western Europe
Project Value 71,429
Project Detail

Company: Clemedi AG is a Swiss SME, founded in 2019 as a spin-off from the University of Zurich, with the aim to develop in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests for antibiotic resistance and susceptibility in infectious diseases. The vision of Clemedi is to support the global battle against antibiotic resistance by developing IVDs that will allow personalized prescription of antibiotics. Need to address: Antimicrobial resistant infections will be among the world’s leading causes of death by 2050. Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a large contributor to death by antimicrobial resistance, with over 240k global mortalities (of which 10k in Europe) per year. Many of these are caused by the inability to detect resistance and antibiotic susceptibility in the diagnostic process. Solution: Clemedi is developing a unique platform to rapidly diagnose drug-resistant infectious diseases, including MDR-TB, and rapidly provide a matching therapy plan. The platform uses proprietary primers to amplify specific DNA from patient samples, followed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis. Machine-learning algorithms are then used to annotate the NGS data, and determine susceptibility or resistance based on DNA-profiles to provide a focused advice on antibiotic therapy, within 24-48 hours after obtaining a patient’s sample. Business opportunity: The minimum total addressable market for Clemedi (i.e. every person that needs to be diagnosed for MDR-TB) is valued at €73.7 M. Competitors are companies that also develop IVDs for rapid detection of MDR-TB, such as Hain Lifescience, Cepheid and Becton-Dickinson. The main competitive advantage of Tuberculini is its ability to analyze susceptibility for a significantly larger number of antibiotics (12 vs. 1-5). Only this can positively impact disease management. Feasibility study: Financial support from the SMEi P1 will be used to assess the technical and commercial feasibility of Tuberculini, Clemedi’s IVD for MDR-TB.

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Contact Details

Company Name CLEMEDI AG
Address Wagistrasse 12 Ch-8952 Schlieren
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/224524/factsheet/en

6.

UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE

Variations in stress responsivity in hens: matching birds to environments

  • 4 Million
  • United Kingdom
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Variations in stress responsivity in hens: matching birds to environments
Company Name UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Funded By 38
Country United Kingdom , Western Europe
Project Value 4 Million
Project Detail

Because of the high demand for eggs, large numbers of hens are farmed in modern egg production. Because of the intensity of this form of farming, the public has justifiably been concerned about the welfare of these birds. Higher welfare also leads to higher quality eggs, higher productivity, and lower incidence of disease and therefore lower need for antibiotics. We aim to reduce the chronic stress experienced by hens. To this end, we will investigate the neurobiological, genetic and developmental factors that lead to higher stress resilience, and the environmental (housing) factors that lead to chronic stress. Europe has led the world in hen welfare with the complete ban of battery cages (European Union Council Directive 1999/74/EC). However, the replacement housing systems have their own potential welfare challenges. Our goal is to identify these challenges and develop improvements for implementation by industry. We will train a new generation of innovative and entrepreneurial early-stage researchers, able to face different challenges related to poultry farming and to apply scientific knowledge and ideas to products and services for economic and social benefit. To do this, we will constitute an international network of groups with expertise in avian brain research, genetics, welfare and egg farming. The training will be complemented by secondments in different laboratories of the network, workshops, and industrial secondments in the poultry industry. The new generation of professionals will apply this knowledge and experience to improve poultry housing systems, welfare, and product quality, which will grow the sectors resilience in addressing growing societal demands for higher animal welfare and healthier diets. Moreover, they will contribute to strengthen Europes human capital in R&I, increase Europes attractiveness as a leading research destination, improve Europes competitiveness and growth, and engage in an improved knowledge-based economy and society.

Sector Administration & Marketing

Contact Details

Company Name UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Address Kings Gate Ne1 7ru Newcastle Upon Tyne
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/223203/factsheet/en

7.

AQUILON CYL SOCIEDAD LIMITADA

Tagged (DIVA) polyantigenic vaccine against Bovine Viral Diarrhea virus (BVDv) based on virus-Like-Particles

  • 2 Million
  • Spain
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Tagged (DIVA) polyantigenic vaccine against Bovine Viral Diarrhea virus (BVDv) based on virus-Like-Particles
Company Name AQUILON CYL SOCIEDAD LIMITADA
Funded By 38
Country Spain , Western Europe
Project Value 2 Million
Project Detail

In a general context of environmental, social and legal pressure to reduce the use of antibiotics to fight diseases in livestock animals, cost-effective vaccination becomes the focus of most of the industry, regulatory and agro-food public bodies. Development of new vaccines to prevent the disease and therefore avoid the use of antibiotics or to improve suboptimal available vaccines is now an European and industry priority. Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is an important infectious agent of cattle worldwide that affects herd productivity and reproduction. BVD has been and is an endemic disease in all countries where no systematic eradication and control programs have been established. Under these conditions, approximately 50% of the herds have or have had animals with persistent infection, and approximately 90% of the cattle have been exposed to the virus at some point during their lifetime. Infection with BVDV has a major economic impact, estimated in hundreds of euros per animal for a European hut of around 80 million animals. Aquilón CyL, a leading biotech company, has developed new recombinant vaccine against BVDV using a Virus-Like- Particle patented technology. Aquilón has demonstrated the technical, commercial and regulatory feasibility by the SME instrument phase 1 project (nº 774994). After developing the vaccine to TRL6 stage (pre-industrial prototype with positive activity data), Aquilón will develop one vaccine to TRL8 stage, demonstrating the commercial-scale manufacturing and in-vivo safety, efficacy and DIVA attributes in the target species. This vaccine candidate will be licensed to one or more veterinarian pharmaceutical company that will complete the final field studies required for commercialisation. Our business projections, based on agreements with Development milestones and commercial royalties, show potential for a 5X investment multiplier with a 25% internal rate of return.

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Contact Details

Company Name AQUILON CYL SOCIEDAD LIMITADA
Address Lugar Facultad De Veterinaria S/N Campus Vegazana 24000 Leon
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/223014/factsheet/en

8.

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

Biological Physics of Living Active Nematics

  • 184,708
  • France
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Biological Physics of Living Active Nematics
Company Name CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
Funded By 38
Country France , Western Europe
Project Value 184,708
Project Detail

The growth of a bacterial colony is a fascinating example of a biological process that can be interpreted in physical terms as the interaction of a collection of elementary units - the cells - with the surrounding environment and within themselves, whereby energy is harnessed and dissipated, thus determining inherent non-equilibrium conditions. Although bacterial cells are one of the simplest forms of life, scientists have so far found difficult to build theoretical models of bacterial growth and morphology as well as to perform controlled experiments of the real systems occurring in nature. These difficulties arise from the naturally occurring conditions that are characterized by a large degree of complexity in both morphological and chemical terms. The aim of this project is to investigate through novel experimental approaches the biological physics which is at the foundation of the formation of 2D bacterial microcolony and its successive development to a 3D structure. To this purpose, several experimental techniques, from traction force microscopy, through laser ablation and soft lithography will be exploited. Furthermore, experimental results obtained from these studies will be of great relevance for the validation of numerical and theoretical models of bacterial colony morphogenesis and antibiotics exposure. The planned research activities will be carried out in one of the top research laboratory in Europe for active matter and within the wider context of École Normale Supérieure, a world renowned academic institution in the fields of statistical mechanics, soft matter and optics. This project aims thus at providing fundamental insights into the development of early stages of bacterial community formation, trying to establish what physical parameters related to the cells, the environment and their interactions determine the transitions from a 2D to a 3D structure, and lastly to gain control over these parameters.

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Contact Details

Company Name CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
Address Rue Michel Ange 3 75794 Paris
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/222779/factsheet/en

9.

SCHWEIZERISCHES TROPEN- UND PUBLIC HEALTH-INSTITUTE

Estimating the Prevalence of AntiMicrobial Resistance

  • 203,149
  • Switzerland
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Estimating the Prevalence of AntiMicrobial Resistance
Company Name SCHWEIZERISCHES TROPEN- UND PUBLIC HEALTH-INSTITUTE
Funded By 38
Country Switzerland , Western Europe
Project Value 203,149
Project Detail

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of an infection to stop antimicrobials, such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials, from working against it. In the EU, every year AMR is responsible for thousands of deaths and costs millions of euros. Yet forecasting the prevalence of AMR remains an open challenge. This project meets this challenge by developing cutting-edge Hierarchical Bayesian models (HBMs). As a case study, the models will focus on the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum that has developed resistance to sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine between 1994 and 2016. This ensures that the goals are realistic, with immediate insight and impact, whilst also remaining methodologically relevant for all AMR. Within the field of ecology, regression models are being replaced so as to incorporate more complex non-linear relationships between abundance and the environment. Unlike traditional methods, HBMs are spatiotemporal models that (i) account for varying geography (ii) separate underlying processes and (iii) include uncertainty in the data and model parameters. This thorough package has proven to yield more insight and accuracy. By using partial differential equations, HBMs separate occurrence due to spread and occurrence due to emergence. Despite its relevance, differentiating between these two process is currently unexplored in epidemiology. Furthermore, when modelling AMR, infections competing for hosts is a process which is currently unexplored in HBMs. Thus, the two long term contributions of this project are: Bringing HBMs to epidemiology to gain a better understanding of underlying processes, and advancing the field of HBMs to include more complex dynamics. And more immediately, the two key contributions are: Quantifying the dynamics and influencers of the spread of drug resistant malaria, and forecasting the frequency of partially drug resistant malaria, and fully drug resistant malaria, at different locations and at different times.

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Contact Details

Company Name SCHWEIZERISCHES TROPEN- UND PUBLIC HEALTH-INSTITUTE
Address Socinstrasse 57 Ch-4002 Basel
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/222721/factsheet/en

10.

UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA

Checkpoints in the bacterial cell cycle: role of the cytokinetic Z-ring and implications for antibiotic resistance

  • 15 Million
  • Portugal
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Checkpoints in the bacterial cell cycle: role of the cytokinetic Z-ring and implications for antibiotic resistance
Company Name UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA
Funded By 38
Country Portugal , Western Europe
Project Value 15 Million
Project Detail

The occurrence of multiple-drug resistant bacteria constitutes an important threat to healthy lives, signifying the importance of alternative strategies to combat bacterial infections. This research project bears the potential to significantly contribute to overcome antibiotic resistances that occur during the treatment of bacterial infections, as it combines the studies of cell division, cell cycle regulation and antibiotic resistance in the clinically relevant model Staphylococcus aureus. Given that the tubulin homologue FtsZ is essential for cell division and serves as an antibiotic resistance determinant in this organism, the proposed research activity focuses on the cytokinetic Z-ring, more precisely its role in driving the staphylococcal cell cycle. Super-resolution microscopy will be used to determine if FtsZ treadmilling controls the rate of cytokinesis and if it organizes the peptidoglycan synthesis proteins during cell division, aiming to provide evidence for a FtsZ-dependent checkpoint in the cell cycle. Profiting from a mutant screen currently ongoing in the host laboratory, mutants impaired in the timing of septum formation will be identified to study the functional integration of corresponding genes into FtsZ-driven septum synthesis. In view of the fact that bacteria at different stages of the cell cycle are phenotypically distinct, microfluidics will be used to test if the degree of antibiotic tolerance varies during the cell cycle, which would enforce the vision for re-sensitizing resistant bacteria by manipulating their cell cycle. The strong expertise and the availability of cutting-edge techniques in the host group together with my professional experience will generate an ideal synergy within this work programme. I will generate valuable scientific knowledge, acquire transferrable skills and create new collaborations in the international bacterial cell biology community, thus paving the way for establishing myself as an independent researcher.

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Company Name UNIVERSIDADE NOVA DE LISBOA
Address Campus De Campolide 1099 085 Lisboa
Web Site https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/222146/factsheet/en

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