Identification of immunodominant cell surface-exposed targets for innovative immunotherapies against multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens
Multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens represent increasingly serious threats for our ageing society. This view is critically underscored by the rapid spread of antibiotic resistant forms of S. aureus, such as MRSA (Methicillin Resistant S. aureus), which are prevalent within hospitals leading to significantly increased mortality and length of stay for patients. Recent years have also witnessed a spread of resistant staphylococci outside health care settings and, alarmingly, community-acquired MRSA is now known to increase even in the absence of selective antibiotic pressure. At the same time also other multidrug resistant bacterial pathogens are emerging, causing infections that are (close-to) untreatable. Consequently, there is a critical and steadily growing need for alternative antimicrobial intervention strategies including active and passive immunization.

Recently, the company Pepscan Therapeutics, the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam and the University Medical Center Groningen have established a technology pipeline for the high-throughput identification of bacterial cell surface-exposed proteins that represent major immunodominant targets for active and passive immunotherapy. This was achieved in the context of the TI Pharma project T4-213 (AntiStaph). Proof-of principle was obtained for one particular invariant immunodominant target protein of Staphylococcus aureus. In this project (short name: 'AntiBact'), the consortium will build on these achievements to validate several newly identified invariant immunodominant targets in dangerous community-acquired MRSA lineages. The main focus will be on multidrug-resistant MRSA lineages that are of high clinical relevance and that have been implicated in (close-to) untreatable infections. 

Fast facts
Full project title: Value creation on immunodominant cell surface-exposed targets for innovative immunotherapies against multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens
Start date: 1 January 2012
End date: 31 December 2013
Goal: Identification of immunodominant cell surface-exposed targets in multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens
Principal investigator: Jan Maarten van Dijl
Project size: 3.4 FTE's
Project budget: 600 k€
Partners: Pepscan Therapeutics, University Medical Center Groningen, Erasmus University Medical Center

“TI Pharma's program managers are experts in the content, enabling them to keep parties focused on the goals that were agreed upon at the outset.”

Jan Raaijmakers
Past VP External Scientific Collaborations GSK Europe
Chair TI Pharma Board of Directors

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