23rd November 2018
Instituto Pedro Nunes, Coimbra, Portugal, to act as incubator and host for Abtrace over the next two years.
Abtrace, a team developing an innovative approach to battle drug-resistant superbugs, will receive €2 million and hosting in a laboratory at Instituto Pedro Nunes in Portugal as the second winner of the EIT Health Wild Card 2018 programme, EIT Health CEO Jan-Philip Beck announced on 23 November 2018.
Abtrace joins DX-Labrack, whose acceptance as a Wild Card winner was announced on 9 November. These two teams share the honour of being chosen for the very first Wild Card Programme, EIT Health’s effort to promote potentially transformative healthcare innovation.
EIT Health Partner Instituto Pedro Nunes, Coimbra, Portugal, was chosen to host Abtrace in a competition to pick the appropriate incubator. Their support, as well as the €2 million in EIT Health Funding over the next two years, will be used to establish a start-up developing Abtrace’s effort to transform prescription practices with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, in order to tackle one of the major healthcare challenges of our time: antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
“It has been a challenging journey at times, but we enjoyed working together and successfully managed to overcome every obstacle so far with a strong team spirit,” said Dr. Cristina Correia, Abtrace co-founder. “Each of us had seen the effects of antimicrobial resistance in our professional or personal lives, so this project is something we are all passionate about. The Abtrace approach can and is urgently needed to fight back against the rising threat of AMR.”
Jan-Philipp Beck, EIT Health’s CEO, added: “Abtrace has identified a serious need in the world of healthcare. AMR is a profoundly important issue that affects millions of people. We are delighted and proud to support the team in their work to fight back against it. We are looking forward to seeing where Abtrace take their ideas and the difference they make to healthcare.”
Abtrace uses artificial intelligence and big data techniques to transform antibiotic prescription. The team at Abtrace are working to better understand clinical decisions and provide the clinician with the information that will aid a better choice, instantly, for every patient and every prescription.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing concern, resulting in an estimated ten million deaths worldwide by 2050 – more than cancer and diabetes combined. Every use of an antibiotic comes with a risk that resistance might develop. However, between 20-50% of antibiotics prescribed are unnecessary or inappropriate and this has a clear impact on the health outcomes and costs in care for both the individual and society.
The correct choice of antibiotic gives a triple benefit: better treatment for the patient, less money spent on consuming the wrong antibiotics, and ultimately the reduction of AMR by selecting the right drug for the right bug.
Team: Dr. Cristina Correia, Helder Soares, and Dr Umar Naeem Ahmad.
About the Wild Card Programme
The Wild Card Programme is a new initiative pioneered by EIT Health to identify and support innovative and high-risk ideas with the potential to transform European healthcare. The Wild Card competition attracted top European talent from a variety of disciplines and brought them together in teams to address one of two key challenges: 1) making smart use of the potential of data, and 2) battling antimicrobial resistance. These challenges were established through open dialogue involving EIT Health Partners, who include Europe’s leading healthcare stakeholders in industry, research and academia.
The competing teams, comprised of 30 shortlisted candidates, took part in the Wild Card: AT THE EDGE, a week-long intensive training in Galway, Ireland, in April. The four teams with the most promising ideas received nine weeks of training with the support of CIMIT mentors to accelerate their concepts from ideas to workable business plans ready for funding.