The project has a multidisciplinary character and faces the challenge to develop a new inhalation system specifically designed by the partner INGENIATRICS (Spain) to achieve efficient delivery of novel nanopharmaceuticals into the lungs. The nanopharmaceuticals will consist of a nanocarrier (NC) functionalized with an antimicrobial peptide (AMP). IK4-CIDETEC contributes to the NC with single-chain polymer nanoparticles and Utrecht University with liposomes. Two SMEs (SETLANCE – Italy and ADENIUM BIOTECH – Denmark) are producing AMPs which are being loaded to the nanocarriers and tested in vitro (ITEM Fraunhofer – Germany) and in vivo (clinicians at Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam – The Netherlands) against different strains of bacteria in order to select the most efficient and promising nanopharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the research centre CIC biomaGUNE (Spain) is studying the in vivo biodistribution of selected AMP-NC systems in order to select the ones which are better retained in lungs. In parallel, a detection kit is being developed by SME PATHOFINDER (The Netherlands) through the development of Multiplex PCR Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases. The consortium comprises two more organizations: the project manager EURICE (Germany) and partner UMAPS (France) devoted to dissemination and exploitation.
The project has been planned to reach a pre-clinical phase and to set the basis to further developing the best performance NC-AMPs in GMP conditions to facilitate translation to the clinic in the future.
The PneumoNP project is expecting to generate new knowledge in the field of nanotechnology-based therapeutics and to assist the fight against the phenomenon of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, a major health issue alarm which is considered urgent not only in Europe. In this sense, PneumoNP has also participated in the European Antibiotics Awareness Day (EAAD) organizing an open door talk for citizens on the 18th November 2015 “Let’s talk about the proper use of antibiotics!” with the aim of sensitize the society to this hurdle and make it aware of the efforts that scientists are carrying out.