Antibiotic resistance is one of the most acute health risks of our time. The threat is often referred to as “the silent tsunami” and could potentially nullify hundreds of years of medical progress, according to the WHO. To counteract the resistance, we need to prevent infections in healthcare and in our everyday lives – a challenge for which the Swedish medical device company Bactiguard can offer solutions.
The work of preventing infections on a global scale is one of the most important means of overcoming antibiotic resistance, which within a couple of decades threatens to kill 10 million lives every year. If you put that in relation to the Corona pandemic that so far hars caused 3 million deaths, the seriousness becomes even clearer, states Cecilia Edström, CEO of Bactiguard.
In addition to the high death rates, the WHO also predicts that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) jeopardizes the possibility of achieving the UN’s goal of eradicating the epidemics of, among other things, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030.
– Antibiotic resistance, along with climate change, is one of the most acute sustainability issues. Without effective antibiotics, common infections such as tonsillitis and otitis can be difficult to treat in the future and, in the worst case, lead to death. Even routine surgery and cancer treatments are dependent on antibiotics. Therefore, we must prevent infections and work preventively so that the problems do not arise, Cecilia Edström continues.
Unique coating technology
Bactiguard has a unique technology that helps prevent infections. The secret lies in a very thin coating of noble metals that is applied to medical devices, such as catheters and implants. When contact with fluids, a galvanic effect is created which means that fewer microbes attach to the surface of the medical device and the risk of infection is reduced.
– Traditional coatings are often based on the release of drugs or other substances that kill microbes, which can cause damage to the tissue and, for example, increase the risk of blood clots. That problem does not our solution have, because it is based on a galvanic effect. Bactiguard’s technology is tissue-friendly and clinically proven to be both safe and effective. More than 200 million catheters have been used without any adverse events related to the coating, an important safety for caregivers and patients, says Cecilia Edström.
Help during the pandemic
Bactiguard’s technology has been successfully used for patients receiving intensive care. Patients who need support with breathing can receive an airway tube, a so-called endotracheal tube, connected to a ventilator.
– It is common for bacteria to attach to the tube and even a relatively short treatment time can lead to the patient developing a very serious respiratory infection (ventilator-associated pneumonia, VAP) which is the second most common healthcare related infection in intensive care1-3. For COVID-19 patients cared for at IVA, an increase in the number of secondary bacterial infections has been seen and this is serious. With our technology, fewer bacteria attach to the tube, which effectively prevents infection, without posing any risks to the patient, says Cecilia Edström.
In 2020, Bactiguard made a strategic acquisition of the Malaysian company Vigilenz, which provided several important assets while broadening the product portfolio to include wound care and disinfection.
– We gained access to a wound care portfolio, a modern and efficient production facility in Asia and a stronger foothold in Southeast Asia with a well-established direct sales organization in Malaysia. This led to sales developing well in Southeast Asia in 2020, despite the fact that several countries in the region were periodically shut down during the pandemic, says Cecilia Edström.
Bactiguard’s vision going forward is for their solution to become a standard of care and continue to be able to contribute to fewer infections, higher patient safety and lower healthcare costs.
– We want to make the technology as accessible as possible, expand geographically and to several application areas. In this way, we can prevent more infections, protect patients and save lives.
Bactiguard is a Swedish medical medvice company with the mission to reduce the risk of infections, increase patient safety and save lives. We do this by developing and providing effective and safe infection prevention solutions. The core business is products with Bactiguard’s coating technology and an non-alcoholic product line for wound care and disinfection.
Published on www.di.se 2021-04-27: Så hjälper Bactiguard till att förebygga infektioner och rädda liv (di.se)
1. Craven DE et al. Infect. 1996; 11 (1): 32-53.
2. Rello J et al. Chest. 2002; 122 (6): 2115-2121.
3. Kollef MH et al. Chest. 2005; 128 (6): 3854-3862.