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Patent of the Week: Treating, Preventing Bacterial Infections

Patent of the Week

Every year, at least 2.8 million people in the US get an antibiotic-resistant infection – and more than 35,000 people die, according to the CDC.

In this week’s featured patent, researchers describe methods and compositions for treating or preventing a bacterial infection, specifically infection by a Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics.

The researchers – including the late UChicago Professor Olaf Schneewinddeveloped an antibody that neutralizes certain activity to treat antibiotic-resistant infections and prevent infection recurrence.

Importantly, it does not promote antibiotic resistance, while reducing disease severity and vaccinating against future infection. It also works on various strains of Staphylococcus bacterium.

The George Shultz Innovation Fund in 2017 awarded ImmunArtes – a startup based on this research$175,000 to support the development of the potential treatment.

The startup was also one of 30 teams in the 2018 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) semifinals and was chosen for the MassChallenge Boston cohort the same year. It also was awarded $198,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2019.

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// Patent of the Week is a weekly column highlighting research and inventions from University of Chicago faculty.

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