The MRSAid™ system was developed by Ondine Biomedical with the goal of safe, rapid, and complete eradication of bacterial pathogens from the nasal passages. During treatment the photosensitizer formulation is gently applied to the nasal openings, after which a painless illumination step completes the process. The treatment only lasts a few minutes and does not require any non-standard patient preparation. The proprietary photosensitizer formulation developed for MRSAid™ was designed to achieve high levels of immediate bactericidal activity while also providing a sustained effect to prevent rebound/regrowth of pathogens after treatment.
Preclinical results testing the MRSAid™ system for safety and efficacy have been peer-reviewed and presented at international conferences in the areas of photodynamics and infection control. Early in vitro studies demonstrated that the system is 100% effective in eradication of both S. aureus and MRSA under optimized photosensitizer and energy dose conditions. Subsequent testing using epithelialized human skin cultures demonstrated the ability to eliminate established topical colonization of MRSA with a single 4 minute treatment. In addition, morphological assessment of treated skin samples showed that treatment with MRSAid™ did not induce tissue damage. Finally, another study showed that resistance to aPDT could not be induced in strains of S. aureus or MRSA with repeated sub-lethal exposures. In contrast, complete resistance to antibiotics could be achieved using a similar exposure model.
Human testing using MRSAid™ for nasal decolonization has taken place in Canada and Europe. Evaluations in Germany using several treatment protocols showed complete elimination of nasal MRSA carriage in 17 of 19 subjects. Subsequent testing in a Canadian MRSA clinic also showed that complete nasal eradication could be achieved with a single application of MRSAid™ and decolonization was maintained over multiple days post-treatment. These promising results have supported the design of two major clinical studies to be performed at key infection control centers in Canada.
The MRSAid™ Advantage
Current MRSA decolonization procedures vary widely, but usually consist of some combination of disinfectant body wash, topical antibiotic for nasal clearance (e.g. mupirocin), and systemic antibiotic therapy. While these methods can be effective, the widespread use of antibiotics is associated with a growing incidence of resistance. Furthermore, topical antibiotics require a treatment course of 5 or more days to be effective, raising issues of patient compliance and potential communicability over the course of therapy. The MRSAid™ system is designed to work as part of a broad infection control/decolonization protocol. It may be used adjunctively with or in replacement of topical nasal antibiotics, and offers the distinct advantages of: 1) absence of development of bacterial resistance to the killing mechanism of aPDT, 2) elimination of patient compliance issues with a multi-day treatment schedule, and 3) immediate and powerful nasal decolonization of pathogens. For these reasons, MRSAid™ is expected to become a valuable tool to fight infections in the healthcare setting.
Product Development Status
This system has been approved as a medical device for use and sale in Canada and is pending approval in the European Union.