Antimicrobial resistance is now a major global public health threat with more than 25,000 deaths annually with associated costs of € 1.5 billion per year in Europe only. Since only two new classes of antibiotics have been brought to the market in the last 30 years, new antimicrobial agents urgently need to be developed. In this project, we will further develop a new antimicrobial peptide to treat (antibiotic resistant) bacterial infections. Atopic Dermatitis ('eczema') - one of the most common skin diseases, in which Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is highly problematic - is the first indication that we will target.

The 80 million patients worldwide with atopic dermatitis have often cracks and lesions on their skin in which bacteria reside and grow, causing the immune system to respond, which results in itching and inflammation. Conventional antibiotics cannot be prescribed, especially not long-term, due to the risk to develop antibiotic drug resistance. The new class of antibiotics to be developed will lack the typical resistance development of conventional antibiotics, enabling a new (long-term) perspective of better treatment for atopic dermatitis. With efficacy testing of the compound in newly developed in-vitro human skin equivalents (HSEs), this TI Pharma project brings together two areas of research. This combination of research activities has the potential to yield significant results that can benefit the development of both technologies and entails a unique new collaboration between several Dutch start-ups and the LUMC.

Fast facts
Project title: Innovative antimicrobial Products for Atopic Dermatitis
Short project title: IPAD
Principal Investigator: Remko van Leeuwen MD PhD
Partners: Madam Therapeutics, 3D-PharmXchange, Aeon Astron Europe, LUMC Budget: 1.3 MEUR
Start: 1 December 2012
End: 30 November 2014

“One of TI Pharma's big strengths is that it knows how to manage money. That's a skill that should be more widespread.”

Tim Wells
Chief Scientific Officer
Medicines for Malaria Venture

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