Take Good Care Communications
Professors of Medicine Bo Åkerström and Stefan Hansson discovered that free foetal haemoglobin is harmful if it leaks into the mother’s blood circulation. This was how they came up with an idea to cure pre-eclampsia, a disease which worldwide kills one woman every three minutes.
The potential drug is based on protein A1M, an endogenous substance that captures and neutralises toxic substances in the body. The protein protects tissue from inflammation when cells rupture. A1M is mainly produced in the liver, where it is secreted into the blood and quickly transported to all tissue, before it is finally broken down in the kidneys.
Microchip technology that can separate blood cells is the basis for the biotechnology company AcouSort, which hopes in the future to be able to see the spread of cancer tumours in the body using an ordinary blood sample.
The new technology provides a detailed analysis of the possible spread of the disease in the body. The sample is also a quick way to show whether a tumour has responded to treatment or not. The man behind the microchip technology is Professor Thomas Laurell, who developed the first chip back in the year 2000.
Akuru Pharma is focusing on exploiting the abnormal expression of transporter proteins in kidney cancer for developing novel diagnostic and treatment modalities. The founders are using a bioinformatics platform for identification of novel surface molecules that can serve as biomarkers for kidney cancer, with particular focus on transporter proteins.
Using this platform the founders, as part of their research at Lund University, identified a novel and highly specific biomarker for ccRCC that can be utilized for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The inherent properties of this biomarker offers unique treatment opportunities, based on uptake of cytotoxic substrates and/or radionuclide therapy.
The American Peter Agre won the Nobel Prize in 2003 for the discovery of aquaporins, the body’s own water channels. However, it was Professor Per Kjellbom and his colleagues who identified how the water flow can be regulated. The researchers also found that aquaporin-inhibitors have the potential to be developed into a completely new type of therapy for reducing high blood sugar levels among diabetes patients.
It is hoped that a new diabetes medicine can be developed that will be administered in tablet form with fewer side effects than those of medicines currently on the market. The first target group is patients with reduced kidney function, for which there are currently no appropriate treatment options.
Arthro Therapeutics AB has developed an app for training exercises designed for joint problems/arthritis. The product is called Joint Academy, an online-based program that can diagnose and treat patients, providing non-invasive and long-term care. During a six-week program the patients receive a personalized activity schedule including physiotherapy, education, group support and one-to-one coaching from a physiotherapist. The program is based on scientific research at Lund University and Sahlgrenska Academy.
Charles Walther, researcher and clinical cytologist, invented a new biopsy instrument for flexible endoscopic examinations for cancer diagnosis. The instrument, called the EndoDrill®, can be used by doctors to carry out faster and simpler examinations, while also providing diagnosis results that are not possible using existing instruments. Charles Walther won an award on TV4’s invention competition series Uppfinnarna, and the company BIBB Instruments was rewarded Super Startup of the Year in 2016.
Every year, around one million people are diagnosed with colon cancer. The majority of the patients are treated with surgery, in which 20–30 centimetres of the colon is removed and a temporary stoma bag is attached to the stomach to prevent infection. However, with a new invention from surgeons Henrik Thorlacius and Anders Grönberg, patients can avoid the stoma, extra operation and unnecessary suffering.
With the new technology, which can be compared to a garden hose connector, elastic silicon and plastic rings are used to lengthen the colon. This significantly reduces the risk of leakage and means that the patient avoids having a stoma and an extra operation.
Professors Leif G. Salford, Bengt Widegren and Hans-Olov Sjögren made an important discovery on the endogenous enzyme IDO. The substance was already known to prevent the female body rejecting the foetus during pregnancy, but the researchers identified a new area of application – preventing and curing autoimmune diseases.
By raising the amount of the IDO enzyme in the body, the researchers hope to be able to prevent and cure autoimmune diseases, as well as the rejection of transplanted organs. The discovery was patented and in 2008 the pharmaceutical company Idogen was founded.
Gedea Biotech develops an antibiotic-free, safe and effective treatment of vaginal fungal infections. Gedea Biotech's substance is a natural substance, known to be harmless and is now formulated into an easy-to-use treatment. Behind the idea lies years of basic research from an interdisciplinary research group, and in 2017 the project won first prize in Lund University and Sparbanksstiftelsen Finn's Award for Future Innovations. Gedea Biotech is founded by Olov Sterner, professor at the Faculty of Science, Helena Strevens, specialist physician in Gynaecology and Obstetrics as well as researcher at the Faculty of Medicine and Ulf Ellervik and Sophie Manner, both chemists at LTH.
With the help of fungal enzymes, the biotechnology company Intenz Biosciences can produce environmentally friendly chemicals. The enzymes serve as catalysts for chemical processes, which enables the production of cleaning products that are both better for the environment and more effective than those currently available.
The company was formed in 2003, then under the name of Devenz AB, as a spin-off from the Greenchem research programme.
Researchers Marcus Larsson, Andreas Herbst and Niels-Bjarne Woods have discovered new stem cells in amniotic fluid, which have unique characteristics for applications in regenerative medicine. Using a completely new method, these new stem cells can be collected and processed before being utilised in medical applications.
Cells from amniotic fluid are unexploited resources that have been shown to be favourable for reprogramming to several other target tissues. These primitive cells are collected from a very oxygen-poor environment, which gives the cells good properties. Using the new technology retains the low oxygen level during collection and processing. LongBoat Explorers website
Using optical imaging, it is possible to see what happens in tissue all the way down to molecular level. This makes it possible to see in detail, for example, how a drug works and its effect. The technology was developed by Professor of Physics Stefan Andersson-Engels and his research team.
MedVasc AB has developed an instrument for a safer, less painful and more cost effective treatment of varicose vein. Varicose vein is a disease that affects 25-30% of the population worldwide. More serious cases often require surgical treatment and although the technique is refined, the procedure is often painful to the patient. The solution developed by MedVasc is a patented medical instrument, Solutio, which can painlessly anaesthetise locally. This means that the patient does not need further sedative or pain relief treatment and can go home immediately after treatment. MedVasc AB website
Almost half of all serious bacterial infections in newborn babies are caused by group B streptococcus (GBS). These bacteria are carried by around one in four women. Professor Gunnar Lindahl and Dr Thomas Areschoug have now developed a possible vaccine against the infection. The vaccine became basis of the pharmaceutical company Minervax. The company is now based in Denmark.
Mireca Medicine develops a treatment for previously incurable hereditary retinal diseases. Mireca Medicine is based in Tübingen, Germany, and is connected to an international research network.
Reccan Diagnostics AB (former Pharma4Cure) aims to develop improved diagnosis and targeted, tumour-specific treatment of solid cancer. The focus area has been pancreatic cancer, but findings suggest suitability for several other diagnosis groups. The identification of biomarkers in blood and tissue is the basis for the development work. The researchers have worked on identifying unique proteins and protein fragments through a blood test to diagnose the disease’s various stages. This could be used as screening for those who are in the risk group, as well as help to direct the choice of treatment.
Roland Anderson and Daniel Ansari, researchers at Lund University, are involved in clinical and preclinical work on pancreatic cancer. Together with protein researcher, György Marko-Varga, who is also active at Lund University, they are the founders of Reccan Diagnostics.
SAGA Diagnostics AB is a cancer diagnostics and disease monitoring company with focus on companion diagnostics for tissue biopsies and “liquid biopsies” such as blood samples. The company offers laboratory services to the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare, and academia.
The methods used by SAGA Diagnostics allow detection and analysis of circulating tumor DNA in the bloodstream and other “liquid biopsies” with exceptional sensitivity. A regular blood sample reveals not only the presence of cancer but also the quantity of tumor-specific gene mutations that can help guide therapy and detect metastatic cancer earlier.
Dr Lao Saal and Anthony George founded SAGA Diagnostics based on on leading research from Department of Clinical Sciences at Lund University.
The biotechnology company SARomics Biostructureshas developed a new technique for testing pharmaceutical substances using 3D structure analysis. Instead of using flat images of protein, the company can produce 3D images, which are used to enhance pharmaceuticals or to understand how a protein functions.
SenzaGen AB, a diagnostic company working to replace animal testing, is based on research at the Department of Immunotechnology at Lund University. The company provides in vitro sensitization tests for the cosmetic, chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries. SenzaGen has two years in a row been on the 33-list, Sweden's most promising young tech companies, and has also been awarded DI's Gasellsprånget 2016.
By replace chemical additions with quinoa starch, researchers Malin Sjöö, Marilyn Rayner, Petr Dejmekand Anna Timgren was able to develop a new type of natural skin care products. The result – a more gentle to the skin, stable and cheaper cream compared to the products avaliable on the market today – became the basis of the research company Speximo. The four researchers behind Speximo won first prize in Venture Cup in June 2012.
Take Good Care Communications
The product “MinHälsobok” is a new type of web-based service that will help people to be actively involved in their health and communicate with health and medical care services. The user of MinHälsobok can document their health status and share selected information with the people they choose. MinHälsobok is not a medical record, but a complement to existing medical record routines.
Medical student Carl-Fredrik Frimand had an idea for a way to improve suture needle holders used by surgeons during operations. He developed a prototype based on his idea and succeeded in making a tool that both leaves less scar tissue and is easier to handle than its predecessor. View the product video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-kHCdwYRgQ&feature=youtu.be
Professor Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson developed a satiety pill from normal spinach. The pill lowers cholesterol levels and gives a feeling of satiety just long enough to start off fat burning between meals.