Photodisinfection technology could be a game-changer in fight against antimicrobial resistance

Vancouver, Canada, Jan. 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

  • Ondine Biomedical’s photodisinfection technology is one of the only new technologies available to economically combat drug-resistant infections.
  • An analysis published in the Lancet found that 1.27 million deaths in 2019 were the direct result of drug-resistant bacterial infections – exceeding deaths from malaria or AIDS.
  • The WHO has called antimicrobial resistance “an existential threat to modern medicine”.

A recent analysis published in the Lancet on the growing threat and death toll of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has led to growing interest in a new technology that uses photodisinfection to treat and prevent infections, including from drug-resistant strains.

The initial application for Ondine Biomedical’s photodisinfection technology, Steriwave™, is to reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAI), including after surgery.  HAI affect 7-10% of patients worldwide.[1] In the USA alone, there are an estimated 1.7 million HAI annually, including up to 300,000 surtical site infections, costing the US health system billions of dollars.[2] Antimicrobial resistance is a key concern for clinicians and there is increasing demand for cost effective new treatments that can improve patient outcomes. 

UCL emeritus Professor of Microbiology, Michael Wilson, commented: “It’s great to see a high-profile study laying out the potentially catastrophic consequences of antimicrobial resistance. We know that photodisinfection technology is going to be absolutely crucial in the fight against AMR and is one of the most advanced alternatives to antibiotics. By effectively treating drug-resistant infections using this non-antibiotic technology, we can preserve our key existing antibiotics and use them far more sparingly.”

The Steriwave photodisinfection process, known in the scientific community as antimicrobial photodynamic disinfection therapy (aPDT), works by using a specific wavelength of laser light to excite a photosensitizer that targets bacteria, viruses and fungi. This combination treatment rapidly destroys cell membranes and surface proteins of pathogens without producing resistance. Steriwave photodisinfection technology has been shown to be safe and effective against drug-resistant pathogens. Steriwave nasal photodisinfection has been used in Canadian hospitals for ten years in the prevention of hospital-acquired infections, demonstrating significant cost savings and patient safety benefits.  

The nose and upper airway have been identified as the primary reservoir for many threatening pathogens including MRSA, Candida auris, and SARS-CoV-2.[3, 4]  Ondine’s Steriwave nasal photodisinfection therapy can rapidly and painlessly eradicate pathogens in the nose, and is currently being clinically trialled for the suppression of SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission.[5]

Steriwave is CE marked and approved for use in Canada and a number of other countries. Additional clinical trials are currently underway to secure regulatory approval in the United States.


About Ondine Biomedical Inc.

Ondine Biomedical Inc. (LON: OBI) is a Canadian headquartered, medical device company led by founder and CEO, Carolyn Cross. Ondine has developed a patented, painless, photodisinfection technology platform used in treatment and prevention therapies for a broad-spectrum of pathogens – including multidrug-resistant strains. Photodisinfection is a targeted antimicrobial which uses non-thermal light to activate a photosensitive agent. In a few minutes, this light-based therapy destroys the pathogens’ cell membranes and surface proteins through an oxidative burst without any impact on human tissue.

Ondine has a pipeline of products, based on its patent protected photodisinfection platform, in various stages of development. Products include treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis, decolonisation of infections in burns and wounds, disinfection of endotracheal tubes to reduce the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia and most recently, the development of topical antiviral therapy for the upper respiratory tract to reduce viral titres and transmission of respiratory viruses (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, influenza, RSV, etc.). Ondine’s technology is approved in a number of jurisdictions and has been awarded the CE mark, as well as Qualified Infectious Disease Product and Fast Track status in the US by the FDA.