Amferia fights antibiotic resistance

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Picture of a bandage and a dog getting veterinary care

It all started in 2014 with the two PhD students Saba Atefyekta and Anand Kumar Rajasehkaran. Martin Andersson, professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, saw the possibility of combining the knowledge and ideas of the projects into a start-up called Amferia. The company is now expanding and has its material available in several countries.

Amferia is a company with a clear goal - to make a difference in antibiotic resistance. They have developed a material that kills bacteria based on the body's way of preventing infections, through peptides (chains of amino acids that are naturally found in the body) that can selectively kill bacteria and are not damaging to human cells. The peptides also have a low risk of creating resistance to antibiotics. However, the peptides have low stability and decompose very quickly, so it can be difficult to utilize them. Amferia has therefore developed a unique material that can protect these peptides and kill resistant bacteria in a non-harmful way. The material can be used in several medical products, for example, as wound care materials and dressings.

"There is an increased threat of resistant bacteria in our society and therefore we need to adapt healthcare and the type of procedures we do, depending on the types of bacteria that we have on us. This material can be part of the fight against these bacteria,” says Martin.

The material is used both for animals and humans

The first application is currently in veterinary care, where antibiotic resistance is a major challenge. The material is available at various veterinary clinics in Europe, but the goal is to have it approved for humans as well.

 “We are currently in the middle of a market introduction in several countries in Europe together with a partner. In Sweden, there is a pilot version of the material, and we are currently scaling up our production. There is great interest in an international market, especially in Europe, the USA and Asia. It is of big importance for the company to be able to reach out to clinics and help to contribute to patients' health,” says Martin.

The innovation came from Chalmers

According to Martin, Chalmers has been an important prerequisite for the existence of Amferia. The innovation came directly from research and there were great opportunities to develop the company further at the university.

“There is a positive culture and attitude towards creating benefits and value from the research we do here at Chalmers. Research and development have taken place at Chalmers and that is why there is a high quality behind the research of the innovation. We have also received good help from the Innovation office and Chalmers Ventures, with the whole ecosystem regarding innovation and research,” Martin concludes.