Akeso Biomedical is developing new solutions for the treatment of bacterial infections and microbial biofilms using a broad-spectrum iron complex chemistry (“Fe3C”) discovered by researchers at the University of Nottingham, UK. The Company’s product pipeline includes Fe3C compounds for the prevention of foodborne illnesses, and the treatment of bacterial infections including infected chronic wounds and medical devices. Each year in the US, it is estimated that there are about 3.2 million cases of foodborne illness due to bacteria, 2 million nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections, and that up to 6% of implanted medical devices become infected. The cost of treating foodborne bacterial infections is estimated to be $9 billion. The cost of treating hospital-acquired infections is now a staggering $30 billion.
Akeso’s lead Fe3C product is a feed additive designed to prevent food poisoning by Campylobacter, a bacteria that causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and vomiting for up to 6 days. The infection can also lead to irritable bowel syndrome, reactive arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and can even be deadly for some patients. The bacterium is commonly transmitted to humans from poultry, lives in the intestines of chickens, and after factory processing is a common contaminate found on about 65% of chickens sold by grocery stores. In the EU, Campylobacter causes more cases of foodborne illness than Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria combined with an estimated 280,000 cases in the UK and 9 million in the EU.
Akeso’s product pipeline is evolving to include the use of the Fe3C technology to prevent the formation of bacterial biofilms on medical devices, and to treat biofilm infections. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biofilms account for over 80% of microbial infection in the body, and are estimated to account for almost 50% of the 2 million hospital-acquired infections.
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Fe3C Compounds to Prevent Bacterial Infections
Fe3C Compounds are a new class of iron complexes that are being developed to fight bacterial infections. These compounds have broad-spectrum activity, and bind to bacteria to prevent infection. Fe3C compounds are being developed initially as feed additives to prevent infection of poultry by the bacteria, Campylobacter. Other potential applications of Fe3C include treatment of medical devices to prevent biofilm formation, and treatment of bacterial infections in both humans and pets.