An NIH-SBIR Phase 2 awarded for the development of a thixotropic single-application antibiotic delivery systems for outer ear.
Monica Serban, associate professor from the University of Montana, received a $1.4 million NIH-SBIR Phase 2 Technology Transfer award with Promiliad BioPharma Inc. The funding will be used to continue the development of a thixotropic single-application antibiotic delivery systems for outer ear infections initiated in NIH-SBIR Phase 1. Thixotropy is the ability of a materials to liquefy under shear stress and then gel once the stress is removed. Her results have been recently published on ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering (“Single Application Cold-Chain Independent Drug Delivery System for Outer Ear Infections” doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.0c01223).
Dr Serban showed that a temperature-independent drug delivery system can enable the one-time, point-of-care application of drugs to effectively treat outer ear infections. This will diminish treatment non-compliance and related risk of antibiotic resistance development, recurrence and complications. Two delivery systems were formulated by blending activated tetraethyl orthosilicate (aTEOS) with large molecular-weight polymers (hyaluronan and silk fibroin respectively).
Outer ear infections (otitis externa or OE) affect an estimated 10% of people in their lifetime, with associated healthcare costs amounting to over $500 million annually. Currently, these infections are treated with topical antibiotic regimes and can be supplemented in severe cases with oral medication. However, incorrect application or noncompliance with the administration schedule of antibiotics leads to infection persistence, recurrence and, potentially, development of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. In diabetic or elderly patients, the infection can be life threatening if it progresses into necrotizing or malignant otitis externa (MOE). Therefore, there is a critical need to develop safe and effective therapies for the treatment of OE and prevention of MOE.