Cellectric and Resistell began a collaborative project which will focus on the development of a workflow aimed at accelerating the pace at which cystic fibrosis patients receive targeted antibiotic treatments. The two companies will combine Cellectric’s proprietary sample purification and preparation technology with Resistell’s nanomotion-based antimicrobial susceptibility testing platform to form a novel operational workflow called Phenotech-CF.

Phenotech-CF will begin development on April 1st, a process that is projected to take two years. Afterwards, researchers at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL) will carry out a full year of validation testing.

Funding from Eurostars

The joint effort has been awarded funding from Eurostars, an initiative of the Horizon program that financially supports projects between small and medium enterprises. In total, the three-year project will receive nearly €2.7 million ($2.9 million) in backing. Resistell will receive €1.54 million and Cellectric, €830,000. The remainder will go to CHUV.

Beyond helping those with cystic fibrosis, Phenotech-CF will serve as a valuable tool in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, an issue the World Health Organization claims contributed to nearly five million deaths worldwide in 2019, and one that is only set to get worse without intervention, according to Terje Wimberger, PhD, managing director and co-founder of Cellectric, who adds that Phenotech-CF will also be used to help patients suffering from other types of infection and, going forward, could be used to test new antimicrobial agents, including phages.

“For too long, clinicians have lacked adequate insights about the nature of bacterial infections, leading to improper antibiotic use. As antimicrobial resistance becomes a global issue, it is vital that companies like ours act now to combat its spread,” he continued.

“Pharmaceutical companies are waking up to the fact that unless they act quickly, their current generation of antibiotics will soon become useless,” noted Danuta Cichocka, PhD, CEO of Resistell. “By combining Resistell and Cellectric’s technologies, we will create a tool that will prolong their lifespan, while also creating a platform for the subsequent development and testing of new agents, a process that could save millions of lives.”

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