How Ondine Biomedical Addresses A World Of Growing Antibiotic Resistance

In 1969, the US Surgeon General William Stewart declared that the human race had won the war against bacteria. It was thought that bacteria would never be able to figure out how to develop resistance to the new complex antibiotics that had been created and that scientific researchers would always be able to stay well ahead of the bacteria. Today, it is well known that bacteria have reversed this situation and that the antibiotic resistance war is far from being over.

It is estimated that there are about 17 million people in the US alone annually suffering from painful and potentially harmful biofilm infections. To me and my colleagues at Ondine, we understand that certain bacteria have become dangerous and remain a threat to all of us. Every single one of us knows of a person who died, or nearly died, of an infection. Many of these people have died from infections acquired while in hospitals, a place where most of us think is safe. This just was not the case 20 years ago. This prevalence of deadly infections could not have been expected in 1969.  Our society’s overuse and misuse of antibiotics (over 25 million pounds of antibiotics are given to livestock every year) have led to greater threats to humanity. At the same time, the enormous costs and regulatory burdens have led to fewer new antibiotics being developed. Clearly the battle rages and we as humans have not been very strategic about our critical weapons.

The concept of antibiotic resistance has been around for decades now but still, there is very little being done to stop the undermining of antibiotic arsenal. Moreover, there are inadequate efforts being done to encourage the creation of new last-line antibiotics to help us in the future. The 1969 statement may seem naive in light of the resistance statistics we are currently observing, but in my view, this sentiment is very much mainstream today.

Despite the calls to action by agencies such as the WHO (World Health Organization) to deal with the antibiotic resistance issue, the trend is to use more antibiotics, rather than less. Most worrisome is that increasingly more of our antibiotic use is for infection prevention. This use goes against everything we know about preventing resistance formation as this practice prematurely exposes bacteria to antibiotics. So dire are the consequences of infection from today’s aggressive bacteria (nicknamed superbugs), that the conventional thinking is to forego future efficacy in favour of preventing serious infections in the short term.

At Ondine, we are challenging the conventional thought that there will always be antibiotics that can treat our infections. We see the rising global resistance trends and the large number of our fellow citizens that are succumbing to resistant pathogens like C. difficilePseudomonas aeruginosa and MRSA. We believe that bugs are gaining ground and making us sicker, as well as killing us in greater numbers. We believe that there are a number of applications for which antibiotics are unable to handle.  We disagree strongly with the current use of antibiotics for prevention in light of the resistance that this practice is generating, as long as there are so few new antibiotics under development. Most importantly, we recognize that raising awareness and changing both patient and clinician behaviour is a big part of the battle against these superbugs.

With this philosophy, we are working to develop and introduce new technologies that can reduce the strain on our existing antibiotics. Our goal is to create new products for the applications where antibiotics fail. We are developing a number of therapies that do not generate resistance and that are safe, easy to use, and instantly effective. Our mission is to create simple non-antibiotic solutions to complex infections. Our expertise is dealing with a world of resistance.

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2 Responses to “How Ondine Biomedical Addresses A World Of Growing Antibiotic Resistance”

  1. thanks for putting this on for the common people to read. we must start with organic foods to stop this epidemic.

  2. i think cancer is an infection that is not treated agressively nor properly that just gets out of hand.

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