In a presentation to the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria — or PACCARB — Tom Lowery, PhD, chief scientific officer of T2 Biosystems, discussed new technologies that allow physicians to choose effective antibiotics quickly, improving patient care and fighting antibiotic resistance.
PACCARB was established in 2015 after President Barack Obama ordered federal agencies to take action against the health threat of antibiotic resistance and to enact recommendations made in a report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Lowery’s presentation focused on clinical experiences demonstrating how T2 Biosystems’ proprietary diagnostic detection method, called T2 Magnetic Resonance, helps to achieve early, targeted and effective antibiotic therapy for patients with bloodstream infections. At the meeting, Lowery explained the importance of the technology, stating that every hour of delayed effective antibiotic use can increase patients’ length of hospital stay by nearly 3 hours.
“Right now, patients are being treated for infections empirically without knowing if they are actually infected, often exposing them to incorrect or unnecessary antibiotic therapy,” Lowry said in the press release. “This greatly decreases their chances of survival and increases the problem of antimicrobial resistance. With the advent of culture-independent tests like ours, the era of blindly guessing on patient therapy can end.”
During the presentation, Lowery also discussed the company’s portfolio of diagnostic tools that were developed for rapid identification of sepsis-causing pathogens and resistance genes. According to the press release, the portfolio includes the T2Bacteria Panel and T2Candida Panel, which are the only FDA-cleared assays available to U.S. health care providers today for sepsis pathogen detection without the need for blood culture.
“We must have a change in how patients are being treated for bloodstream infections and sepsis, or current generations will continue to unnecessarily die and future generations will have a diminished armament of antibiotics,” Lowery said in the press release. “I am honored to have the opportunity to present our data and describe [how] the new opportunity T2 Biosystems technology enables to improve patient care to [Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria].”
Other topics discussed at the meeting included bacteriophages as antibiotic alternatives, challenges of pharmaceutical development and prioritization of vaccines to reduce antibiotic use in animals. – by Caitlyn Stulpin
Lowery T. Earlier effective antibiotic therapy through culture-independent diagnostics. Presented at: PACCARB; Jan. 30, 2019; Washington.
Disclosure: Lowery works for T2 Biosystems.