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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.3.1-5 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2012

The aim of the SME-driven COATIM consortium is to tackle the increasing problem of infections due to biofilms, groups of microorganisms that stick together on different surfaces within the human body and escape conventional antibiotic treatment. Biofilms are typically found on medical devices like implants. The most recent generation of implants with open porosity enable fast osseointegration, but also present an increased risk of microbial biofilm-associated infection. Biofilm-associated infections are responsible for 15-25% of implant failure, and necessitate burdensome and costly revision surgery. The latter is estimated to represent a supplementary medical cost of 800m/year in Europe without taking into account the pain and distress of the patients, indicating that any significant reduction of this type of implant failure is highly recommended. Until now, biocidal implant coatings have been developed that are based on either the release of silver ions, which are toxic upon accumulation, or on conventional antibiotics that have poor activity against microorganisms in biofilms. Therefore, COATIM aims to develop the next generation of implant coatings containing novel potent proprietary antibiofilm molecules (ABMs) with inhibitory activity against microbial biofilms. In COATIM, these ABMs are grafted or deposited on small titanium implant substrates, as a model for dental and orthopaedic implants. Next, the ABM-coated implants are evaluated for in vitro and in vivo activity in resisting microbial infection without compromising osseointegration. Finally, the ABM-coating is applied on complex orthopaedic and dental implants, allowing the exploitation of the results by industry. In parallel, the antibiofilm mode of action of the ABMs is unraveled. COATIM contributes to a dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy, sustainable development, and serves the needs of the SME-intensive medical technology products market in Europe.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.5-5 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2008

Disorders arising from degeneration of the intervertebral disc are an enormous clinical and financial burden on European societies. Most of the burden arises from 10% of patients who become chronically disabled. Any factor which will improve treatment of back pain sufferers or prevent development of chronic disability would have an important impact both on society and in improving quality of life of patients. Improving diagnosis is the key. At present, 85% of patients have no clear diagnosis resulting in arbitrary treatments, usually surgical, which range widely from centre to centre and are often ineffective. Without clear diagnostic criteria, treatments and preventative measures cannot be targeted effectively. Patients may be subjected to unnecessary and expensive interventions or else denied treatment which could be beneficial Scientific advances in understanding the aetiopathology of these disorders are necessary for development of objective diagnostic criteria, rational application of present treatments and development of new therapies. Genodisc aims to contribute to improvement of patient care through improving diagnosis of disc-related pathologies both by more effective utilisation of present diagnostic information and by developing novel diagnostic tools. Through these new diagnostic methods, it aims to select patients at risk of chronic low back pain and spinal stenosis. It also aims to develop criteria for selecting patients who will benefit from newly emerging biological therapies for treating disc degeneration. The scientific advances underpinning improved diagnosis will arise from genotyping carefully phenotyped patients, from research into the processes of disc degeneration and from models of how these molecular processes lead to disc failure. This research will potentially provide biomarkers which will increase diagnostic specificity and provide targets for development of drug therapies.

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