Canada’s Ondine Biomedical Targets Coronavirus Directly in Nose and Nasopharynx with Photodisinfection
Vancouver, British Columbia, May 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vancouver-based Ondine Biomedical Inc., the global leader in Photodisinfection technology, announces it has developed a new approach to eliminate the novel coronavirus directly in the nose and nasopharynx of affected patients, healthcare workers and vulnerable populations such as those in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Studies are initiating at leading hospitals in Canada and Europe.Recent research has identified that the novel coronavirus colonizes the upper respiratory tract before widespread lung damage occurs. This pattern of colonization matches the distribution of ACE-2 receptors targeted by the virus. Ondine has developed a first-of-kind medical device to proactively decolonize the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus in the anterior nose and nasopharynx. This is the world’s first Photodisinfection-based antiviral nasal application designed to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19.“Our Steriwave™ Photodisinfection technology has long been used to safely eliminate all known pathogens from the noses of patients prior to undergoing surgery, in order to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infections,” stated Dr. Nicolas Loebel, Ondine’s President and Chief Technology Officer. “We have raced to adapt our existing in-hospital system into a portable, rapid and inexpensive approach to viral decontamination of the upper airway. This capability could be especially important in frontline healthcare professionals such as ENT clinicians, emergency room doctors and nurses, respiratory therapists and intensivists who may be exposed to high viral loads during treatment of patients. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have underlined the critical importance of protecting the health and safety of the approximately 18 million healthcare professionals exposed to COVID-19 on a daily basis.”“Everyone understands the value of frequent handwashing to aid infection control,” Carolyn Cross, Ondine’s Founder and CEO, stated, “but unfortunately few understand that pathogens carried in the nose represent one of the most important transmission vectors. As the novel coronavirus started to infect people in every country, our team set about creating an additional layer of protection for patients and at-risk health care professionals who represent up to 20% of COVID-19 cases. While quarantining and isolation measures work to ‘flatten the curve’, exposure of our healthcare workforce to the virus in hospitals, ambulatory care centers and clinics is prolonged without the benefit of a vaccine or other effective intervention. These ongoing exposure risks have motivated our efforts to accelerate introduction of this new antiviral approach.We recognize that these are exceptional and unprecedented times that require all of us to step up our efforts to help. The Ondine team is completely focused on bringing the superior, broad spectrum, antimicrobial capabilities of Photodisinfection to the fight against COVID-19.”About PhotodisinfectionOndine’s Photodisinfection is a powerful new alternative in the fight against drug-resistant topical infections. This patented, light-activated antimicrobial kills drug-resistant bacteria, viruses, and fungi, including those in biofilms, in minutes. Because Photodisinfection is effective against such a broad spectrum of pathogens, expensive and time-consuming pathogen identification is not required. Photodisinfection kills pathogens through oxidative disruption with no known adverse effects to human epithelial tissue or mucosa. Microbes are unable to resist or adapt to this treatment.About Steriwave™ Nasal DecolonizationOndine’s lead product is Steriwave™ ND, an antimicrobial Photodisinfection-based treatment that can eliminate nasal bacteria, viruses, and fungi in symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers to reduce the potential for transmission and infection. Steriwave™ ND is a 6-minute treatment deployed just prior to surgery that does not generate resistance with multiple use. The patient’s own nose has been demonstrated to be a primary source of pathogens involved in hospital acquired infections, including MRSA. Carriers of bacteria, viruses and fungi in their noses are at greater risk of self-infection and represent a vector of transmission to others. Significant reductions of surgical site infections have resulted from adoption of Ondine’s universal pre-surgical nasal decolonization protocols in Canadian hospitals over the past decade. Steriwave is not available in the USA.About Ondine Biomedical Inc.Ondine Biomedical Inc. is certified woman-owned business dedicated to the development of treatment and prevention therapies for a broad-spectrum of multidrug-resistant bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Ondine’s antimicrobial program utilizes Photodisinfection (also known as antimicrobial photodynamic therapy, or aPDT) to provide rapid antimicrobial efficacy without elevating risk of resistance. In addition to Steriwave ND, other applications of the Photodisinfection platform are under development, including treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis, treatment of 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 transmission of SARS-CoV-2.Angelika Vance
Ondine Biomedical Inc.