Resistell AG, the start-up developing world’s fastest phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility test was selected for funding under the European Innovation Council (EIC) programme in the latest funding round. Resistell’s project RAPID-SEP-AST will receive up to €2.5M grant and additional equity financing from EIC Fund.
The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator (previously known as SME Instrument) supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally. The programme focuses on market-creating innovations that shape new markets and generate jobs, growth and higher standards of living. From 5 June 2019 the EIC Accelerator offers blended finance in the form of an optional investment in equity in addition to the grant. Successful companies have also access to a range of business coaching and acceleration services.
For the 20th March 2020 deadline, the European Commission received approximately 4,000 applications for EIC Accelerator Pilot programme - more than double the usual amount. Resistell AG was among over 70 companies that were selected for funding in this call.
Before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was already one of the biggest global health challenges. In many countries, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 receive antimicrobial therapies as part of the standard clinical care package. Excessive use of these powerful medicines triggers the development of multi-drug resistance. Global action is urgently needed to prevent COVID-19 from casting a long shadow over antimicrobial resistance (read more in Nature Microbiology).
To reduce empirical antimicrobial treatment, it is essential to rapidly determine which antibiotics the pathogen still responds to. Resistell has developed extremely fast phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) based on measurement of vibrations of living bacteria using nanomechanical sensors. The cutting-edge technology reduces the AST time-to-result from several hours or days to less than two hours. Thanks to that patients can be treated with the optimal medication from day one.
The EIC Accelerator grant and equity will co-finance the final development stages of the Resistell’s device and disposables as well as multicentre performance evaluation study and thus will significantly speed up the market entry of the first product targeted at antimicrobial susceptibility testing in patients with blood stream infections and sepsis.
“EIC Accelerator is a fantastic support programme for highly innovative start-ups that is needed more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will help us mitigate the financial and clinical risks that have emerged because of COVID-19. Thanks to this project, we will be able to carry out clinical validation in at least three different hospitals in Switzerland, Germany and Denmark. This will not only accelerate and facilitate the market entry thanks to extensive clinical evidence but also allow the continuity of performance evaluation study in highly unpredictable times of global pandemic.” - said the CEO, Danuta Cichocka.
The Resistell team: Dr. Sandor Kasas (inventor and co-founder), Anton Malovichko (Scientific collaborator, PhD student at EPFL), Dr. Amanda Luraschi (Clinical Microbiologist), Michal Swiatkowski (Engineer), Dr. Danuta Cichocka (Founder and CEO), Grzegorz Gonciarz (COO), Roxana Buga (Engineering Assistant), Christèle Aubry (Microbiologist, PhD student at CHUV), Prof. Gilbert Greub (Prof. of Bacteriology at UNIL and CHUV, Scientific & Medical Advisor), Anthony Vocat (Clinical Microbiologist), Dr. Grzegorz Wielgoszewski (Engineer) and Dr. Eric Delarze (Clinical Microbiologist) and Absent: Dr. hab. Grzegorz Jozwiak (Data scientist) and Piotr Grygo (Engineer)
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