bioMerieux is also involved in many collaborative projects with academic centers and the international healthcare community. Multidisciplinary research teams are an essential component of scientific and medical innovation.
Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL)
For almost 15 years, bioMérieux and the Lyon Civil Hospitals have been collaborating through an exceptional public-private research partnership. Two joint research laboratories within the Edouard Herriot and Lyon-Sud Hospitals in Lyon, France, are committed to performing research close to patients - combining medical expertise, academic research and diagnostic innovation in a trully original way.
The hospital’s research projects have gradually concentrated on sepsis, a severe inflammatory syndrome that is frequently observed following an infection. Recent scientific advances led to an understanding that a large number of patients hospitalized in intensive care units develop changes of their immune system associated with a high risk of developing a serious infection during their stay in hospital. These include patients admitted with septic shock or after a surgical operation, multiple traumatic injuries or a severe burn. The objective of the REALISM project is to validate new predictive tests allowing diagnosis and monitoring of the inflammatory and immunosuppression status in order to implement a personalized diagnostic and treatment strategy to prevent patients from developing sepsis. Personalizing patient management will reduce the risks of infectious complications and increase the patients’ chances of survival. This will also contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance: fewer infections will lead to less antibiotic prescriptions.
Another example is the ongoing collaboration with the Geneva University Hospital in Switzerland which sees research teams working together with bioMérieux on a metagenomics project for the diagnosis of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). Using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, we are exploring the possibility to provide identification of the multiple organisms present in a clinical sample, without the need for culturing. Strain virulence and resistance mechanisms can also be identified using NGS techniques. Providing such a complete “mapping” of a patient’s sample may help significantly advance patient care and also reduce the spread of multi-drug resistant organisms through more rapid and targeted antibiotic therapy, as well as implementation of appropriate isolation measures when necessary.
bioMérieux is also closely involved in several European Consortiums, such as "PREPARE" and "ITN":
(Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics)
bioMérieux is a partner of the EU-funded PREPARE network which aims to carry out large-scale clinical research studies on infectious diseases, in order to be prepared and able to mount a rapid, coordinated response to any severe infectious disease outbreak within 48 hours. bioMérieux plays a crucial role in the development and validation of pathogen detection tests
(Innovative Training Networks)
Rapid point of care (POC) diagnostic tools play a key role in differentiating viral from bacterial infections, determining the optimal antibiotic therapy and ultimately the effective clinical management of patients with infectious diseases. As part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 - Research and Innovation Framework Programme, the “New Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases” project offers students of different nationalities the opportunity to work in research labs to develop novel POC assays, targeting the most important and urgent clinical needs. bioMerieux is participating in this project by taking on 2 research students in its R&D facilities in 2016.
bioMérieux has initiated a research collaboration with the Jackson Laboratory in Maine, USA, to develop precision diagnostics for pathogens and their antimicrobial resistance. The objective is to find better methods to identify pathogens and determine which antibiotics offer the most effective treatment. The collaboration brings together bioMérieux’s expertise in clinical microbiology and antimicrobial resistance, with Jackson Lab’s expertise in next-generation DNA sequencing and genomic analysis.
The European project PERFORM aims to address the problem of identifying bacterial infection and thus to reduce antibiotic misuse and AMR by developing better tests to distinguish bacterial from viral infection. The PERFORM consortium includes 18 world renowned organizations, from 10 different countries, among which bioMérieux is the unique industrial partner. The PERFORM grant is one of the largest awarded by the European Commission’s Horizon2020 Health program in 2016 (€18 million) and aims, within a five-year period (2016-2021), to bring novel new diagnostics into clinical use and improve management of children presenting with high fever on arrival at a hospital or clinic.
The ANTOINE project, which emerged as a result of collaboration between bioMérieux and the Hospices Civils de Lyon (France) aims to better identify the cause of acute fever in children. The large majority of infants under the age of 3 admitted to a Pediatric Emergency Department with fever of unknown origin (FUO) have a viral infection. Only 10 – 25% will have an infection of bacterial origin. Overestimation of bacterial infections results in broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, which can contribute to the emergence of resistant bacteria. Research into specific biomarkers of these two types of infection in children will enable the differentiation of severe bacterial infections from viral infections and help to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics.