Technology Awards 2019

GHP / Technology Awards 2019 19 , Leading Innovator in Medical Device Coating Solutions 2019 UroNova is amedical device industry leader who, for more than 20 years, have been fighting catheter associated infections and biocompatibility problems. In close cooperationwith clin- ical partners, UroNova develops and provides world-class coatings for medical devices that help patients with a broad spectrumof clinical diseases. By excluding the use of biocide sub- stances, the promotion of bacterial resistances is avoided. In Europe alone, there are more than 13,000 deaths and a staggering 1.5 billion Euro costs that are caused by catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) in just a year. That makes CAUTI a severe complication and a main contributor to the cost burden of the healthcare systems worldwide. The urinary tract is one of the most common sources of nosocomial infection, particularly when the bladder is catheterized, accounting for nearly 40% of all hospital acquired infections. It is well accepted that bacterial colonization with catheterization is inevitable, with some reports estimating the risk to be in the region of 5% per day with almost 100% colonization risk at 7 to 10 days of catheterization. Today, 40 - 50% of patients with indwelling catheters experience problems with lumen blockage as a consequence of either debris or encrustation. The complications resulting from catheter encrustation seriously compromise patient care. The crystalline deposits can be hard and abrasive, and can traumatize the bladder mucosa and urethra. The obstruction of urinary flow through the catheter may cause either incontinence due to leakage of urine around the catheter, or painful distention of the bladder due to urinary retention. Infection of the urine is always found in these patients, therefore retention and reflux into the ureter may facilitate ascending infection of the urinary tract, culminating in episodes of kidney infection, blood stream infection and shock. As a result, an undetected catheter blockage may lead to life- threatening complications. Several studies have reported that up to 50% of patients undergoing long- term catheterization will require unscheduled catheter replacement due to the flow of urine being blocked by crystalline deposits. Besides the clinical issues like morbidity, emergency visits and invasive procedures, the health economic aspects also are of great importance. Urinary tract infections cause significant additional costs. The same is true for emergencies due to catheter blockage, and also regular device exchanges with patients requiring long-term or permanent drainage cause recurring costs. Compared to the device itself, the device exchange is significantly more expensive. Approaches to suppress CAUTI by the use of antimicrobial and silver particle coatings have been pursued for many years, however they have been proved to promote the development of bacterial resistances. Bacteria develop the ability to defeat the antimicrobial substances. Nevertheless, products equipped with such coatings are still used in a variety of applications, and the problem is not limited to the urinary tract. UroNova’s approach is a breakthrough. Instead of using biocides, antimicrobials or silver particles, UroNova is fighting the bacterial colonization and encrustation of catheters and stents using a fundamentally different strategy. By repelling bacteria from the surface of drainage devices, the same way human cells do it, CAUTI is reduced significantly. The time until blockage due to encrustation is prolonged multiple times and to the same extend the exchange intervals of the devices. How does that work? All types of bacteria, no matter whether they are Gram negative or positive, carry an overall negative charge. As equal negative charges repel each other, a negative surface charge of the catheter, stent or medical device repels bacteria and prohibits their attachment. No biocides are used, so there is no risk of the development or promotion of bacterial resistances. As there is also no drug release into the patient’s body, no negative systemic side effects can occur. Dec19240 Although it sounds relatively easy, to achieve and maintain a negative charge of a medical device’s surface when it is implanted into the human body is challenging. It must be ensured that the contact to body fluids and tissue does not lead to a neutralization of the negative charge. By extensive research and testing, UroNova was able to develop molecular coatings that fulfil all these requirements: A high permanent negative charge, long- term stability, no pharmacological side effects and unparalleled biocompatibility. These coatings are applicable to a broad spectrum of device materials and shapes without changing the mechanical properties. Fundamentally, by investing a significant part of the profit for research and development UroNova is already working today on solving tomorrow’s challenges: Major biocompatibility issues with the use of implants and drainage devices and to reduce costs for the healthcare systems. Company: UroNova GmbH Web: UroNova