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Medtech Impact on Wellness

Professor and N. Neal Pike Scholar in Health and Disability Law at Boston University discusses viruses and the role of bacteria in viral pandemics.

By tuning in, you will discover:

  • How bacteria differ from viruses, and why antibiotics should not be taken by a person who only has a viral infection
  • Why the number one safety feature in a hospital room is the toilet lid, and why public restrooms may need to be redone in light of the current coronavirus pandemic
  • What types of non-traditional antibacterial therapies CARB-X is looking to support

Over the past 15 years, Kevin Outterson has become increasingly interested in researching the market for antibiotics. Initially, he wanted to understand why patents weren’t incentivizing highly effective antibiotics in the same way as other high-priced drugs in the system.

About four years ago, he started working in a different yet related capacity in supporting the small companies that conduct potentially groundbreaking research on antibiotics that can effectively treat what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) consider the biggest bacterial risks to human health.

Outterson currently serves as the executive director of Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X), which is a company that is focused on combating bacterial superbugs through novel technologies leading to cures, diagnostics, and prevention against bacterial infection.

Outterson reminds listeners that many of those who have passed away from the coronavirus fell ill to secondary bacterial pneumonia, and that each year 33,000 people die from drug-resistant bacterial infections. In light of this, he emphasizes the need to attack disease transmission on multiple levels.

He discusses the cleanliness and safety of even the best hospitals in the country, and what needs to be done in order to limit infection.

Outterson also mentions a few of the most common sources of bacterial infection, as well as one that was seen primarily in veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who had been injured in explosive events.

He explains the difference between viruses and bacteria, the ways in which a person’s immune system can be suppressed (making them more susceptible to infection), how phage therapy works, and so much more.

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