Akeso Biomedical Enters into License Agreement for Fe3C Compounds to Prevent Foodborne Illness
New class of compounds promises solution to Campylobacter food poisoning.
WALTHAM, MA – May 12, 2015 – Akeso Biomedical, Inc., a privately held company developing new solutions for the treatment of bacterial infections and microbial biofilms, announced that it has exclusively licensed a new class of compounds designed to treat bacterial infections. The new class of compounds, known as Fe3C, has broad-spectrum activity against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria.
Preliminary studies have shown that the Fe3C technology is active against Campylobacter, a bacterium that is the most common cause of food poisoning in the European Union. Campylobacter is transmitted to humans from chickens, and can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting for 3-6 days. The infection can result in longer lasting and more severe problems in some patients, and can be deadly. Each year, there are an estimated 280,000 cases of Campylobacter food poisoning in the UK, and 1.3 million cases in the US. The economic cost associated with Campylobacter infections is estimated at $1.5 billion in the UK, and $5.6 billion in the US.
Studies at the University of Nottingham by Drs. Jafar Mahdavi, Ala-Aldee Dlawer and Panos Soultanas uncovered the mechanism by which Campylobacter infects chicken, and led to the development of the Fe3C technology. The technology has been shown in preliminary studies to dramatically reduce the level of Campylobacter infection in chicken. Further studies are underway to develop a Fe3C feed additive that will reduce infection of poultry by Campylobacter.
The Fe3C compounds are also being evaluated for the treatment of other bacterial infections. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biofilms account for over 80% of microbial infections in the body, and are commonly found adhered to medical devices such as catheters, pacemakers, prosthetic heart valves, vascular grafts, internal fixation devices, prostheses and dental implants. These bacterial biofilm infections are difficult to treat, and are estimated to be responsible for almost 50% of the 2 million hospital-acquired infections occurring annually in the US. It has been estimated that the cost of treating hospital-acquired infections in the US is now over $30 billion per year.
“We are very excited by the potential of the Fe3C technology to treat and prevent infections caused by bacteria,” said Dr. Simon Williams, CEO. “The application of the Fe3C technology to prevent Campylobacter food poisoning holds great promise, and we are optimistic that there will be multiple uses of Fe3C technology given the broad-spectrum of activity demonstrated so far.”