A nosocomial infection is an infection that is acquired by a patient during a hospital visit or one developing among hospital staff. Nosocomial infections can cause severe pneumonia and infections of the urinary tract, bloodstream and other parts of the body. Especially in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), where patients suffer from serious diseases and usually have suppressed immune systems that cannot fight pathogens, nosocomial infections are quite problematic. The continuous treatment of ICU patients with diverse drugs and antibiotics promotes the development of antibiotic resistance pathogens that are spread by nosocomial infections. Patients hospitalized in ICUs are 5 to 10 times more likely to acquire nosocomial infections than other hospital patients.
There is an urgent unmet medical need for new treatments against these life-threatening bacterial infections because of the emergence of strains that are resistant against all existing antibiotics. Many life-saving antibiotics have lost their effectiveness due to the evolution of these multi-drug resistant bacteria. Unfortunately, many of the global pharmaceutical companies have left the field of antibacterials and the pipeline for new treatments has dried out.
The European CDC estimated that approximately 4 million patients suffer from hospital acquired infections each year inside the EU and that approximately 37,000 deaths directly result from these infections. A large proportion of these deaths are caused by the most common multidrug-resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and different Enterobacteriaceae - See more at: ECDC
The development of resistant bacteria is considered a major public concern and worldwide there are governmental initiatives that recognize the need for new therapies. In Europe, the 6th Innovative Medicines Initiative was recently announced and in the USA, the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) act was proclaimed. End of 2010, US President Barack Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt established a transatlantic task force on Global Antibiotic Resistance Threat.