Jennifer, Allvivo Vascular
Engineered antimicrobial peptides and their application to prevent medical device associated infections
Biofilms play a key role in the resistance to treatment of chronic infections, including medical device associated infections and wound infections. Antimicrobial peptides show promise in their ability to inhibit biofilm formation as well as kill bacteria in biofilms. However, most lack the necessary stability, bioavailability, and sustained activity over the range of physiologic conditions needed for clinical application. Novel cationic antimicrobial peptides have been engineered to overcome these limitations and have been shown to provide broad spectrum activity against multidrug resistant, gram negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as fungi. A lead engineered peptide, ASP-1, has been formulated for coating medical devices in a way that ensures peptides remain stable and active in the presence of blood proteins and other biologic media. The coating also controls peptide release and by delivering a sustained flux of ASP-1 at device surfaces, it inhibits biofilm formation for at least 4 weeks. Coatings and gels containing ASP-1 are also effective against preformed biofilms of multidrug resistant organisms including MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Acinetobacter baumannii. ASP-1 coatings can be applied to a variety of materials commonly used in medical devices and are compatible with end stage sterilization. These coatings are distinguished from silver-based approaches in both improved activity and biocompatibility and offer a promising new solution to prevent medical device associated infections.
Jennifer Neff is a founder and the CEO of Allvivo Vascular. Prior to joining Allvivo Vascular, she was a founder and the Director of Research for allvivo, where she was instrumental in bringing nine new life science research products from inception to market. She started her career as an engineer in the Environmental Products Division at Terra Tek developing mycotoxin testing kits taking them from an early stage through commercialization. She is on the board of the Southern California Biomedical Council and regularly serves as an NIH reviewer. Jennifer graduated Cum Laude in Materials Science Engineering, earned a PhD in Bioengineering, and completed post-doctoral work in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Utah.