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Biomimetic Polymers for an Antiseptic Handwash

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
PolyMedix, Inc.
170 N. Radnor-Chester Road RADNOR, PA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Biomimetic Polymers for an Antiseptic Handwash
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43AI060196-01
Award Amount: $113,238.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections have become a major healthcare issue, affecting at least two million patients annually in the US. Is estimated that such infections cause or contribute to approximately 88,000 deaths per year and over 4.5 billion dollars in direct medical costs for extended durations of care. The CDC has stated hat one-third of healthcare-associated infections can be prevented by better infection-control measures and hand hygiene is the most important means for reducing the transmission of microorganisms in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Several studies have demonstrated that improving hand hygiene compliance significantly reduces the transmission of hospital-acquired pathogens and decreases infection rates. There is a need for the development of effective antiseptic formulations for hand sterilization that rapidly kill of broad spectrum of microbial pathogens and fully address compliance issues associated with their use. Importantly, the antimicrobial agents utilized in these formulations should be active against drug-resistant bacteria and should not contribute to the filrther development of bacterial resistance. PolyMedix is presently developing a series of nonpeptidic compounds that are uniquely suited for antiseptic applications. These biomimetic polymers 1) mimic key biological properties of proteins and 2) are more stable and inexpensive to produce than natural proteins. The first application of this technology has been the design and synthesis of non-peptidic mimetics of host defense peptides that play a critical role in health, serving as a first line of attack against a wide range of microbes. In relation to their naturally occurring counterparts, the mimetics are significantly smaller and easier to prepare, as equipotent and as broadly active. However, the non-peptidic mimetics are significantly less toxic towards human erythrocytes, much less expensive to prepare, and we expect that they will also be much more stable. Importantly, because these compounds mimic the structure and biological activity of host defense peptides, the appearance of bacterial resistant strains is very unlikely to occur. Presently, eight classes of mimetics, distinguished by the chemical composition of their molecular backbone, have been synthesized and tested for antimicrobial activity. The goal of the Phase I studies is to identify a set of compounds (discovery leads) that rapidly kill a broad spectrum of transmissible hand pathogens and are not readily absorbed through the skin.

Principal Investigator:

Richard W. Scott

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:


EIN/Tax ID: 412060809
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No