Innovation environment to improve antibiotic therapy

1 October 2021

Antibiotics and other drugs in a pharmacy

The environment work on the availability and individualised use of antibiotics to increase efficacy and decrease the risk of side-effects and resistance development.

A new innovation environment for precision health is under construction in Uppsala. Made possible by a five-year grant from Vinnova, the new innovation environment will develop innovative preventive interventions to counter antibiotic resistance.

In order to pave the way for more preventive, precise and equitable healthcare, Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova is investing in 11 innovation environments in the field of precision health. In these environments, the business community, healthcare providers, higher education institutions, civil society and patients will work together to develop more precise solutions for the entire healthcare sector, in prevention and health promotion as well as diagnostics and treatment.

Thomas Tängdén, senior physician and associate
professor in infectious diseases at Uppsala
University. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

One of these new innovation environments is PLATINEA 2.0, which is coordinated by Uppsala University. SEK 40 million has been granted over a five-year period so the environment can work on the availability and individualised use of antibiotics to increase efficacy and decrease the risk of side-effects and resistance development. Intersectoral collaboration is integrated into the environment, which will encompass several universities and institutions, regional health authorities and industry organisations. 

Thomas Tängdén, senior physician and associate professor in infectious diseases at Uppsala University, is project managing the innovation environment:

“This new grant provides PLATINEA with good possibilities for working farsightedly to improve and individualise the treatment of patients with bacterial infections. Through this unique intersectoral collaboration, we can help to strengthen Sweden’s position in the field of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.”

Already established collaboration expanded

Initially launched in 2016, the Platform for Innovation of Existing Antibiotics (PLATINEA) was intended to meet the need to increase access to and optimise the use of existing antibiotics in Sweden. This work proved fruitful and among other things PLATINEA has participated in a national inventory of knowledge gaps, proposed measures to ensure the availability of effective antibiotics and conducted clinical and preclinical studies of how the use of antibiotics can be optimised.

The new project will involve new partners, including the global ReAct network, which is also led from Uppsala University, meaning that the innovation environment will gather almost 20 stakeholders with the common goals of ensuring that existing antibiotics are used in the optimal manner and securing access to lifesaving antibiotics. The project has now entered a new phase that will see more advanced economic simulations and health economics analyses performed to calculate the costs associated with antibiotic shortages. A new work package has been added focused on analysing health data to identify at-risk patients. Clinical studies will also be conducted via a newly established national research network of Swedish infectious disease clinics.