bioMérieux is also involved in multidisciplinary research with academic centers and the international healthcare community.
Public-private research partnerships
For more than 15 years, bioMérieux and the Hospices Civils de Lyon (France) 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.
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 mounta rapid, coordinated response to any severe infectious disease outbreak within 48 hours. bioMérieux plays a crucial role in the development and validation of pathogens’ 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. bioMérieux is participating in this project by regularly taking on research students in its R&D facilities.
bioMérieux is continuing a research collaboration with the Jackson Laboratory in Maine, USA, to develop novel Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based precision diagnostics for microbes and their antimicrobial resistance. The objective is to optimize NGS to better identify pathogens and develop tools to investigate complex microbial communities. The collaboration combines bioMérieux’s expertise in clinical microbiology and antimicrobial resistance, with Jackson Lab’s expertise in NGS and genomic analyses.
Better identify the cause of acute fever in children
bioMérieux is currently involved in two research partnerships to accelerate the identification of bacterial infections in children. The majority of infants under the age of 3 admitted to a pediatric emergency department with fever of unknown origin have a viral infection. Only 10 – 25% 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.
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.
“In neonatal resuscitation departments, infections are a common occurrence, owing to the extreme vulnerability of the patients and the high number of invasive procedures (catheters, intubation, etc.) which increase the risk of infection. The use of antibiotics is therefore frequent and necessary, yet at times, they may be misused and overused. The unnecessary administration of antibiotics may have severe consequences for the patient and for the microbial ecology of the department. Aside from the obvious toxicity of certain antibiotics and the effects on the patient’s intestinal flora, the use of antibiotics can also contribute to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Recently, in neonatal resuscitation departments, we have had occurrences of infections caused by multiresistant bacteria, for which we have only a limited number of treatment options, and the use of last resort antibiotics has not been extensively studied in newborns. The prudent use of antibiotics is therefore a major challenge in our day-to-day practices.”