Kane Biotech grabs investors with innovative approach to attack bacteria

September 13, 2013

Kane Biotech (CVE:KNE) is looking to fill a gap in the healthcare market with its products developed to break down and disperse biofilms, taking an innovative approach to eradicating the nitty-gritty bacteria that are a major cause of serious infections.

"Bacteria are very sociable little bugs. They like to live together in communities called bio films, like ants getting together and building an ant hill," says president and CEO, Gord Froehlich, describing the formation of a biofilm from microbes.

Biofilms are any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other on a surface, with the task of killing bacteria embedded or hidden in this becoming all the more difficult.

"Antibiotics are effective against planktonic, or free-floating bacteria, but when the bacteria form of biofilm is kind of the house they live in, it is very difficult to kill that biofilm-embedded bacteria," says Froehlich, who spent 25 years in the biotechnology industry at Monsanto Canada.

"It's like an infection that never goes away, as the bacteria keep re-seeding themselves from the bacteria hidden in the biofilm."

Indeed, while the word "biofilms" may not be familiar, their presence surely is. Froehlich says biofilms can be anything from the plaque in your teeth, to the lysteria found in meat processing facilities, when "the cleaning agent does a good job of cleaning the planktonic bacteria but not the biofilm-embedded bacteria". They can also develop on surfaces such as catheters, prosthetic implants, teeth, lungs and the urogenital tract, with around 80 per cent of all human bacterial infections estimated to involve biofilms.

"When you combine a hard surface and moisture, you get a biofilm forming," he affirms.

The company's patented technology is based on attacking this biofilm, or the environment in which the bacteria thrive. "We're not out to develop a new antibiotic. If you can alter or remove the environment a species thrives in, the species will not survive," Froehlich explains.

Kane has three focuses for its technology -- oral care, disinfectants and wound care -- with the company's most advanced product dubbed StrixNB, a drinking water additive to help maintain good dental and oral hygiene for pets.

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