PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals GmbH, a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI, on June 25, 2020, a Fraunhofer development was awarded the cluster and overall prize at the IQ Innovation Prize Central Germany. Excellent became a novel topical antibiotic for the treatment of periodontitis.
With the IQ Innovation Prize Central Germany, the European metropolitan region of Central Germany promotes new, marketable products, processes and services to increase innovation and competitiveness of the region's economy. A total of 136 applications were received for the award this year, 29 of them in the Life Sciences cluster, for which PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals also competed. This can now look forward to a total of 22 euros in prize money. On the one hand, the main prize of 500 euros donated by the IHK Halle-Dessau, the IHK Ostthüringen in Gera and the IHK in Leipzig, and on the other hand the Life Sciences Cluster Prize, endowed with 15 euros, which was jointly awarded by Serumwerk Bernburg AG and was donated to KPMG AG.
The novel principle of an antibiotic for the treatment of periodontitis generated by the Fraunhofer IZI Department of Molecular Drug Biochemistry and Therapy Development as well as partners at the universities in Halle (Saale), Kraków and Bern and the Fraunhofer IMWS, which is being further developed and exploited by the PerioTrap spin-off, was awarded. One of the new features of the active ingredient developed is the planned local and biodegradable application. "With our innovation, only the periodontitis germs are specifically destroyed and the physiological biofilm in the oral cavity can be preserved," says PD Dr. Stephan Schilling, who heads the department based in Halle (Saale).
Periodontitis is currently treated by manually removing the biofilm and daily disinfecting with mouthwash, which destroys the entire biofilm and promotes rapid recolonization by pathogens. In severe cases, broad-spectrum antibiotics in tablet form are currently used. A local application, as promised by the new development from the Fraunhofer IZI, would instead ensure that the organism as a whole is only very slightly exposed to antibiotics. The patented active ingredient has so far been successfully tested in cell culture models. The next step is to test the safety and effectiveness of the antibiotic in animals before it can then be used in clinical trials in the first patients.
This development into a marketable product will now be taken over by PerioTrap Pharmaceuticals over the next few years. "We hope to be on the market with our product in six to eight years and to be able to offer patients a real alternative to existing therapy," says Dr. Mirko Buchholz, alongside Pierre Tangermann, one of the two managing directors of the young biotech company from Halle (Saale).
With currently more than 11 million periodontal diseases in Germany alone, there is an urgent need for new therapy strategies and active ingredients. Not only can the inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria lead to the destruction of the periodontium and even tooth loss, but the bacterial infection is also associated with various systemic diseases. For example, the risk of developing diabetes increases elevenfold, the risk of a stroke increases sevenfold. Periodontitis is even associated with the onset of Alzheimer's. A locally applied antibiotic that specifically destroys the relevant periodontitis germs and protects the physiological biofilm in the oral cavity is a sensible therapy improvement here.
Ashley M. Simonsen, Partner
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg | www.uni-halle.de
Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS | www.imws.fraunhofer.de
Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland | www.en.uj.edu.pl
University of Bern, Switzerland | www.unibe.ch
Source: Press release from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology from June 26.06.2020, XNUMX