Iogen focuses on combating the dangerous rise of antibiotic resistance by developing products for device, skin, and nasal disinfection using novel clear, non-staining iodine-based technology that provides long-term microbicidal activity.
Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide problem. New forms of resistant organisms cross international boundaries and spread between continents with remarkable speed. Every year in the United States, 2 million people acquire serious infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the first line therapy antibiotics. According to the CDC, antibiotic resistant infections are the primary cause of 23,000 patient deaths annually. Antibiotic-resistant infections play a secondary role in the deaths of numerous other patients whose demise is attributed to other causes.
Estimates of the total economic costs of antibiotic resistance to the U.S. economy vary but have ranged as high as $20 billion in direct healthcare costs. Additional societal costs for lost productivity are as high as $35 billion a year. In most cases, antibiotic-resistant infections require prolonged and/or costlier treatments; extended hospital stays; necessitate additional physician visits and healthcare use; and result in greater disability and mortality as compared to infections that are treatable with antibiotics. Many of these costs are avoidable provided appropriate preventative antimicrobial methods are available and utilized in combination with effective products whose characteristics induce a high compliance rate in healthcare workers.
The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in healthcare settings. However, up to 50% of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed. Antibiotics are also commonly used in food production to prevent, control and treat disease in animals reared for consumption, which compounds the problem.
According to the CDC, one in three people carry Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) in their nose, usually without any illness. The S. aureus bacterium is one of the most common causes of healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Among surgical site infections, approximately 80% of S. aureus infections are derived from the patient’s own nasal flora. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is resistant to several antibiotics and causes bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. Currently, MRSA kills more people each year in the U.S. than HIV|AIDS.
Molecular iodine is highly effective against MRSA; it is the only active biocidal agent in iodine disinfectants. There is substantial in vitro, in vivo and clinical evidence that molecular iodine acts as a broad-spectrum, slow release microbicide. Molecular iodine kills the microbes found in biotic and abiotic surfaces including the nasal cavity, surgical sites, wounds, hands and medical devices including all antibiotic-resistant species. The mechanism of action does not involve any stereospecific interactions as a result bacteria do not develop resistance. Iogen's formulations provide an opportunity to cost-effectively prevent infections worldwide.