This research networking center gathers some of the main Spanish research groups in biomedicine, located in more than 100 institutions as universities, hospitals and technological centers distributed around the country.
Candida auris (C. auris) is an emerging species highly resistant to currently available antifungal drugs that can cause fungemia and deep infections associated with high mortality, especially in patients admitted to medical intensive care unit (MICU) or surgical intensive care unit (SICU). The first reported isolation of C. auris was a species in Japan with external otitis in 2009. Since then, disseminated infections and candidemia caused by this species have been described in several countries, including India, South Korea, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Colombia, Venezuela, Kuwait, and, recently, Spain, causing a worldwide health problem.
The identification of C. auris in biological samples represents a significant diagnostic challenge due to the difficulty in correctly identifying it with the biochemical techniques commonly used in microbiology laboratories. Many of these techniques mistakenly identify it as Candida haemulonii, Candida famata, Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Rhodotorula glutinis. Molecular methods outside the reach of most clinical laboratories are required to correctly identify a C. auris isolate, such as amplification and sequencing of ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer) or MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix Assited Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry).
Due to these important methodological difficulties for the correct identification of C. auris, which also require a lot of time, and specialized personnel and equipment, it is very likely that the infections caused by this species have been underdiagnosed or misidentified in recent years. This makes the development of new fast and reliable diagnostic methods necessary.
The present invention describes a biosensor for the detection of DNA of C. auris and/or diagnosis of infection caused by this new and multi-resistant species of pathogenic fungus that solves the problems of the devices and methods of the state of the art.
This innovative technology allows fast and easy detection of C. auris with a high level of sensitivity and selectivity. Based on this biosensor, a detection method and a method of diagnosing diseases caused by said pathogenic fungus have also been developed.
Potential industrial partners, either Biotech or Medtech, are sought in order to enter into R&D collaboration (further development of the medical device) until clinical proof-of-concept and ultimately the commercialization of the product (license agreement); or research organization for further development of the device, in order to collaborate in innovation projects (clinical proof-of-concept). Besides, an investor for financial support for setting-up of a spin-off company is sought under a joint venture agreement.