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Antibiotics Targeting the Infection Site

Researcher Baris Ata Borsa’s new technique produces antibiotics that uniquely kill pathogens in the body causing infection.
– With this technology, we can offer a safer treatment with fewer side effects for patients with cancer or severe infections, he says.

Baris Ata Borsa is a clinical microbiologist and has worked as a specialist in various hospitals for more than ten years before coming to Sweden to participate in a drug development project. Now, he receives 50,000 SEK from the VFN program to explore the possibilities of creating a company around his drug development platform.

Why have you chosen this area?

– Since the beginning of my career, I have been interested in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Multidrug-resistant pathogens are one of the most critical threats to humans today. It’s a challenge that must be addressed, and I decided to be part of the fight.

Tell us about your research?

– My research focuses on developing innovative antimicrobial agents to combat AMR. This is extremely important because 4.95 million people died in 2019 from diseases where bacterial AMR played a role. Of these, 1.27 million were directly due to AMR. If left unchecked, it is estimated that ten million people could die each year due to AMR by around 2050.

– In my project, we are developing a platform technology that produces antibiotics targeted at pathogens causing disease. This means that the antibiotics circulate in the body like a GPS, searching for the pathogen, without harming any other bacteria or the patient’s body. When the antibiotics reach the infection site, they will be activated to kill the pathogen and treat the infection.

What will you use the money for?

– We need to find a way to enter the market, and the grant will be used to investigate how we can create a company around our technology.”

What needs in healthcare does your research address, and what are the benefits for patients?

– Our platform has the potential to make a significant change in the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. If successful, thanks to our targeted treatment strategy, patients with drug-resistant infectious diseases will have a new chance, and cancer patients will be treated in a safer manner with fewer side effects.

Footnote: VFN stands for Verification for Utilization and is a program at Linköping University for activities that contribute to research results creating utility. East Sweden Medtech finances four of the VFN projects.