Earlier this week, the Commission selected the winner of the Better Use of Antibiotics Prize launched under the Health Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020.
The €1 million prize was awarded to MINICARE HNL for a finger prick test that can diagnose a bacterial infection and identify if a patient can be treated safely without antibiotics in less than ten minutes. The easy-to-use test is expected to be available for patients by 2018. It has been developed by a combined research effort of Swedish and Dutch researchers. The two other finalists (PulmoCheck and ImmunoPoc) presented equally innovative patient-focused technologies.
This prize, which was launched in February 2015, addressed the issue of the unnecessary use of antibiotics, which is contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. The challenge was to develop a rapid test that allows healthcare providers to distinguish at the point of care between patients with upper respiratory tract infections that require antibiotics and those that can be treated safely without antibiotics. 12 applications (1 ineligible) were submitted to the call before its 17 August 2016 deadline, with three pre-selected finalists announced in November last year.
More than ten other prizes have been launched by the Commission under Horizon 2020 to date, mainly in the area of transport, energy/climate, ICT and health.