TURKU, Finland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Antibiotic resistance is estimated to have caused the death of over 700 000 patients worldwide last year. In 2050, this number is forecast to rise to 10 million1. As antibiotics are losing their effect at alarming speed new alternatives are being evaluated. According to a recent study, naturally antibacterial bioactive glass has shown excellent results for bone infections – without local antibiotics.
The excessive use of antibiotics has led to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in recent years, which is a serious global health threat. New antibiotics are not yet in sight, but as an alternative method in bone grafting, bioactive glass has been proven effective towards resistant bacteria. An international study published in January 20172 concerns the use of BonAlive® bioactive glass in the treatment of patients suffering from chronic bone infection, also called osteomyelitis. The study was carried out in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Poland and Azerbaijan and included a total of 116 patients, whereof 90 percent made a full recovery.
Chronic osteomyelitis is a severe bacterial disease, which can appear anywhere in the skeleton and is typically caused by trauma or reduced biologics, e.g. due to diabetes. In the worst case, it might lead to amputation. As demonstrated in the 116-patient study, bioactive glass can effectively reduce the number of procedures to only one. This treatment method is significantly more comfortable for the patient and saves healthcare costs. Over time the glass will be replaced by bone.
“The use of bioglass is a new approach without local antibiotics, thus the risk of creating resistant bacteria is reduced and the bone has a good template to grow”, says Priv.-Doz. Dr. med. univ. Arnold J Suda, orthopedic surgeon of Universitätsklinikum Mannheim. “The bone infection rate in Germany is similar to other West industrial countries. With the amount of refugees with rare and very aggressive bacteria from the near east, Africa or Afghanistan, antibiotic treatment encounters its limits and bioglass seems to be an effective opportunity in these cases.”
Increasing need for antibiotic-free alternatives
BonAlive bioactive glass S53P4 was initially developed in Finland and has a two-decade-long history of patient use.
“To overcome the reliance on antibiotics, collaboration is needed on all levels of society. In addition to regenerating new bone, bioactive glass is able to inhibit bacterial growth without local antibiotics. This is a significant step forward compared to the conventional treatment”, says CEO of BonAlive Biomaterials, Dr. Fredrik Ollila.
BonAlive bioactive glass S53P4 is a bone graft substitute that stimulates new bone growth and protects the surgical site from bacterial growth. The product received an indication approval in 2011 for bone cavity filling in the treatment of chronic osteomyelitis. Bioactive glass is used in neuro, trauma, orthopedic and ear surgery for both adults and children. Last year, BonAlive bioactive glass was used in nearly 10 000 operations around the world.
1 Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: final reports and recommendations, The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, 05/2016.
2 Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017 Jan 4. doi: 10.1007/5584_2016_156. [Epub ahead of print]
The study abstract is available at:
BonAlive Biomaterials Ltd represents the development of novel antibiotic-free innovations for bone regeneration. The company manufactures and sells implantable biomaterials for bone regeneration used for surgical treatment of chronically infected bone, spine fusions and bone cavity filling. BonAlive® products are available in Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa and South America. The clinical use of BonAlive® is supported by a twenty-year history of research and more than fifty scientific papers.