Landmark NHS deal gives access to light-activated antimicrobial to combat antimicrobial resistance

A new light-activated antimicrobial that kills all types of bugs – viruses, bacteria, and fungi – in minutes without generating resistance is being adopted by NHS hospitals to reduce surgical infections.

Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust has approved the commercial adoption of Ondine’s groundbreaking light-activated antimicrobial, Steriwave. The approval will see the use of Steriwave expanded across hip and knee surgery patients at Pontefract and Pinderfields NHS Hospitals to reduce the incidence of surgical site infections (SSIs). This adoption as standard-of-care for orthopedic patients follows a successful, initial deployment that is being used to evaluate Steriwave at Pontefract Hospital.

Dr. Stuart Bond, Consultant antimicrobial pharmacist and Director of Innovation at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, commented: “We are very pleased to be the first NHS Trust to be giving patients access to this important new technology. SSIs can have a devastating effect on patients and their families, and we are pleased that we have demonstrated the feasibility of using Steriwave in our Orthopaedic Centre of Excellence at Pontefract Hospital. It is a real step forward to making Steriwave more widely available across the Trust.”

As announced on 5 March 2024, Ondine Biomedical, Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, and Health Innovation Yorkshire & Humber have partnered to sponsor a health economic analysis with the York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC). The full findings of this study [are expected to be reported on later this year and] will be used to support the further spread and adoption of Steriwave across the NHS and across additional surgical applications.

Steriwave is a light-activated antimicrobial that uses a specific wavelength of red light to destroy pathogens that colonise the nose and can spread to cause harmful infections. Crucially, unlike traditional antibiotics, Steriwave is immediately effective with a single five-minute treatment and does not trigger antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Nasal decolonisation – eliminating harmful pathogens from the nasal cavities – is recommended by WHO and NICE prior to surgery as a key approach to preventing SSIs.

The CEO of Ondine Biomedical,Carolyn Cross, said: “We are delighted to see the first two NHS hospitals adopt Steriwave, particularly as NHS is seen around the world as a leader in antibiotic stewardship in response to the growing threat of AMR (antimicrobial resistance). This is not only a significant milestone for Ondine, but Mid Yorks's accelerated decision to adopt suggests that Steriwave has been well received by patients, surgeons, and nurses.”

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