Rapid Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and phylogenetic Identification
Call: ERC-2015-PoC Project Reference: 713707 Principal Investigator: Susanne Häussler Host Institution: Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Emerging resistance towards antimicrobials marks this decade and the lack of therapy options especially against gram-negative pathogens underscores the need for optimization of current diagnostics, therapies and prevention of the spread of these organisms. In this proposal the PIs medical microbiology background and previous ERC-funded work on molecular resistance markers is exploited towards the development of a diagnostic assay for resistance profiling and genotyping. The implementation of the molecular StG-knowledge based RAPID (Rapid Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and Phylogenetic Identification) Assay could change the current paradigm of culture-based microbiological diagnostics and facilitate surveillance of multi-drug resistance. The overall objective is to initiate steps of pre-commercialization. Through the simultaneous pursuit of exploratory and exploitative innovation activities RAPID will be developed as a diagnostic tool for clinical microbiological laboratories. By applying our molecular assay in phase II diagnostic trials on a world-wide collection of multi-drug resistant pathogens, measures of diagnostic accuracy will be obtained. In addition to the assessment and critical appraisal of the diagnostic test, I will partner with the technology transfer company Ascenion, and apply for the CE label for RAPID. The CE mark will open the door for further commercialization opportunities such as licensing or offering the RAPID Assay as a service. In addition, market research, protection of intellectual property and contacts with end users and pharmaceutical industry for partnering activities will be central to the project. The implementation of RAPID as a tailored and cost-effective diagnostic tool in clinical microbiology laboratories holds promise to provide critical information for decision-making with respect to antibiotic use and for improvement of disease surveillance in multi-drug resistant nosocomial infections, and thus is of high priority.