One in seven men suffers from prostate cancer, and transrectal prostate biopsy procedures are the gold standard for diagnosis. However, since the rectal wall is punctured during the biopsy, bacteria that are normally confined to the rectum can end up causing infectious complications. Currently, the only way to prevent these harmful infections is by administering antibiotics. However, the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria has led to an increase in complications.
- To bring a new technology to the market, based on the bactericidal effect of silver ions, removing the risk of infection after a transrectal prostate biopsy.
Problem to Solve
The number of transrectal prostate biopsies carried out every year is estimated to be around 2 million in the US and Europe alone. Between 2% and 5% of patients develop severe and potentially lethal infections. The normal treatment for these infections consists of administering antibiotics, which can contribute to worsening the problem of rising bacterial-resistance in healthcare. The intensive care required for infected patients has an estimated cost of more than $600 million per year in the USA.
NeedleSafe is based on a biopsy needle that electrically releases silver ions. The silver ions then combine with the chloride ions that are naturally found in living tissues, forming nanocrystals that ensure a long-term bactericidal effect along the biopsy tract. In addition to reducing the costs associated with infections, NeedleSafe prevents overuse of antibiotics.
Level of Innovation
Pilot animal trials have been carried out for safety and efficacy, and good results were achieved in both cases. The product has already been patented. Moreover, there are currently no products on the market that are able to solve the infection problems that occur after biopsy procedures. NeedleSafe could be the first to hit the market.