Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of the biggest threats to humanity, according to the World Health Organization. Each year, 25 000 EU citizens die as a result of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. This is something that 1928 diagnostics intends to change. With the help of the diagnostic method that the company is currently developing, physicians should be able to quickly make the right diagnosis, use the correct antibiotics and save lives.
Patients about to undergo surgery or receive a cancer therapy often receive a preventive antibiotic treatment to reduce the risk of infection, but if bacteria are becoming more resistant it won’t help. Previously, it was very expensive to map a bacteria's genome. Although it is now much cheaper and faster, there are still no tools for interpreting the results. Today, it can take anywhere from 48 hours up to several weeks to receive treatment with the correct antibiotics.
Large amounts of data must be processed before you can find evidence of antibiotic resistance in the huge amount of genetic information. This problem will be solved by the new diagnostic method currently under development by the project team. When the cloud-based software is available, physicians may - already after 12 hours – receive an answer regarding which bacteria a patient is infected with. These are important hours that may be life-changing for the patient. At the same time, it will reduce the spread of multi-resistant bacteria and reduce costs for healthcare and society.
During a meeting at the Wallenberg Centre on the future of life sciences in Western Sweden in November 2012 Kristina Lagerstedt and Erik Kristiansson met Bo Norrman, an innovation advisor at Chalmers Innovation office.
We told him about our idea and he became interested so we booked a meeting and wrote an application for a verification project, says Kristina. With this support, they now where able to start investigating if there was interest from hospital laboratories to use their diagnostic method.
For us, it was the first real investment in our idea and thereby completely necessary. Without this support, we would probably not have gotten anywhere, says Erik.