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MAASTRICHT, Netherlands

Infection with certain Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) types has been demonstrated as the most important risk factor in the development of cervical dysplasia, found to be present in nearly 100% of women with cervical cancer. Currently implemented mass-screening approaches based on imaging, Pap testing and DNA testing display some relevant drawbacks in terms of specificity and sensitivity, and even when one is diagnosed with HPV, there is practically no way to determine whether this infection will regress (90% of the cases), or will turn into cancer, with obvious economic and societal consequences. Through the SixthSense Project, PathoFinder will validate a diagnostic algorithm for HPV screening able to detect the presence of oncogenic/high-risk types HPV DNA, and to measure their viral load and expression of oncogenic viral proteins E6/E7, which will be used as risk indicators for the development of cervical cancer, thus allowing to timely diagnose who will develop cancer, and initiate the treatment accordingly. The objective is to manufacture and worldwide distribute this new assay and the associated analytical device, leveraging the proprietary new generation multiplex and Real Time PCR technology for rapid detection and identification of human pathogens in clinical specimens. This result will allow women to accurately know their risk to develop cancer undergoing only one gynaecological sampling/visit for both first line and second line testing, avoiding unnecessary and excessive follow up procedures. At the same time National Healthcare Systems would reduce the costs of unnecessary follow up visits and of more invasive investigations, while gynaecologist would also be favoured in the management of patients with low grade dysplasia.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.53M | Year: 2014

The main objective of PneumoNP is the development of a theragnostic system for the treatment of lung Gram-negative bacterial infections. As a proof of concept PneumoNP will focus the attention on Klebsiella pneumoniae caused infections. A diagnostic kit will be developed to enable a rapid and precise identification of the bacteria strain causing the infection and avoid the use of wide spectrum antibiotics. For the treatment a nanotherapeutic based inhalable antibiotic will be developed. The therapeutic nanosystem will be based on a nanocarrier combined with an antimicrobial peptide. 3 different types of NCs will be tested with 2 AMPs to be able to obtain a novel effective inhalable antimicrobial NS. Nanotherapeutics offers many advantages in pulmonary drug-delivery, due to the huge surface area available in the lungs and their potential to achieve uniform distribution of drug dose among the alveoli. To improve this delivery to the lungs an aerosol system will also be developed. Due to the characteristics related to pulmonary delivery of NCs, topical and systemic bioavailabilities are envisaged. A diagnostic kit will be generated to monitor the efficacy and efficiency of the therapy. Once this treatment is proved to be effective, it could then be applied to any Gram-negative lung bacterial infection. The number of antibiotic resistant bacteria strains is increasing rapidly, new types of therapy are urgently required to avoid the use of standard antibiotics. Gram-negative bacteria that cause pneumonia are one of the main sources of nosocomial infections, mainly in people with a weakened immune system. Apart from pneumonia they can cause bacteremia and other infections. Early detection of the infection source combined with the development of appropriate and effective NSs to treat multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria caused infections will definitely radically improve the healing process of patients and avoid complications for people in hospital.

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