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Posted: Dec 13, 2013
Nanoparticles for the treatment of bacteria resistant pneumonia
(Nanowerk News) The polymer nanoparticles synthesized in the Biomaterials Unit will carry antimicrobial agents to the target site via inhalation. Their small size and specific physical characteristics makes them the perfect vehicle for this type of application.
Nowadays nanomedicine is one of the most important emerging fields within medical research, with high expectations for its future applications. Drugs, imaging, and regenerative medicine are the main research areas where nanotechnology is being incorporated. IK4-CIDETEC has already been involved in several related projects including the use of polymer nanoparticles for both MRI imaging and theranostics (treatment and diagnosis) of pancreatic cancer.
In the most recent European call, the PneumoNP project led by IK4-CIDETEC was awarded funds to generate inhalable drugs against Klebsiella Pneumonia, a resistant Gram-negative bacteria which is particularly difficult to treat. The resistant bacteria are considered one of the major global health threats due to the lack of effective treatments available. Moreover, a diagnostic kit will also be developed during the 4 year project, allowing quicker detection of the Klebsiella strain and therefore improving the success of the treatment.
The PneumoNP project incorporates 11 partners from all across Europe involved in different disciplines. IK4-CIDETEC and Utrech University will be involved in the production of nanomaterials as drug vehicles. Another two SMEs (Setlance and Adenium Biotech) will generate therapeutic peptides, which are almost in clinical trials.
In vitro toxicity and preliminary efficiency studies will be carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute, one of the leading research institutes in Europe. The Erasmus Medical Centre in The Netherlands, a reference centre in the field of infectious disease studies, will test the most successful candidates in vivo.
Meanwhile CIC biomaGUNE will develop in vivo biodistribution studies using their outstanding imaging platform. The development of an inhalation system and a diagnostic kit will be realized by two other SME partners (Ingeniatrics Tecnologías and Pathofinder Holding), contributing directly to the improvement of the European healthcare sector. Finally, Eurice and UMAPS Communication will be in charge of IP protection and dissemination.
The total budget of the project is approximately 6 million euros for the four years and the kick-off meeting will be held at IK4-CIDETEC in San Sebastian at the end of January 2014.