Project: Development of a novel disinfection and sterilisation system for heat and pressure sensitive reusable medical equipment

The goal of the Z-box project is to pro-actively respond to a growing marked demand in the health care sector for more efficient, flexible and cost effective sterilization of reusable medical equipment. The major objective of the Z-box project is therefore to address this market demand by researching and developing a new and more effective sterilization system based on advanced use of ionized ozone gas in a closed system. _x000D__x000D_Background: Inadequate sterilization is a growing problem in Europe and the rest of the world and authorities in the EU and US are strengthening their efforts to address the problem. It is estimated that more than 9% of hospital in-patients have a hospital acquired infection (HAI) at any one time. As a result, close to 3 million patients in Europe acquire nosocomial infections every year. The high frequency of nosocomial infections (HAI) places a substantial burden on individual patients and on the European health care system. The direct cost of HAI in the US is estimated to be $4.5bn/year and is even higher in the EU. In addition, prolongation of stay necessitated by HAI limits access of other patients to hospital resources, and contributes to overcrowding on wards and in emergency departments. Together these incur thousands of deaths (9,000 in France alone) and billions of Euros in excess annual health care costs. Finally, HAI contribute significantly to the emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial-resistant organisms. _x000D__x000D_The exact proportion of HAI which could be prevented by improved sterilization practices is difficult, if not impossible to estimate. However authorities estimate that between 15% - 50% of HAI can be prevented by better application of existing knowledge and realistic infection control practice coupled with the introduction of improved sterilization technologies. As it is well known that sterilization failures can result in a range of potentially deadly infections, effective sterilization can therefore make an important contribution to lowering the prevalence of HAI in the European health care sector. As a result there is little doubt that significant societal and economic benefits can be reaped from addressing this area in Europe. _x000D__x000D_Furthermore, there is a large economic potential and opportunity for technology driven SMEs that can bring products to market to help address the global problem of HAI in hospitals. Thus the estimated global market for hospital sterilisation equipment was valued at €1.3bn in 2005 and will reach €1.6bn by 2011. This project will therefore be instrumental in enabling greater competitiveness for the consortium and European sterilisation industry as well as a larger share of the global market._x000D__x000D_Technology background: Sterilization is a process that entails the destruction of all types of virus, bacteria, fungus or other microorganism such as parasite or prion, whether in a vegetative or dormant state. Conventional sterilization techniques are based on the use of high temperature, high pressure, radiation or the use of toxic chemicals or gasses. The Z-box system based on advanced use of ionized ozone will have a number of significant technical and economic advantages compared to existing technologies, especially in the treatment of costly and heat sensitive reusable medical equipment. _x000D__x000D_The consortium: Each member of the Z-box consortium brings a unique expertise necessary to bring the Z-box technology successfully to market._x000D__x000D_Scan Unic is a Danish SME specialized in bringing new medical technologies successfully to market. As a result the key staff has a diverse portfolio of relevant skills and know-how within areas such as market knowledge, sales, marketing, finance and capital. In addition, the key staff has a strong network to relevant leading US and EU hospitals, doctors, professors and universities. Scan Unic will lead and coordinate the project and be responsible for specific tasks within system design._x000D__x000D_BAT is a DK R&D based SME located in the Copenhagen Medicon Valley with its key staff having more than 20 years of experience with R&D and problem solving for leading European clients such as Sonion, Radiometer and Siemens. In addition, key staff in BAT has worked with ozone technology related areas for more than 10 years and as a consequence has obtained a number of patents on ozone based medical technologies which are highly relevant for the success of the Z-box project. BAT will be responsible for developing and optimizing the ozone sterilization technology and be involved in developing the overall design concept for Z-box. _x000D__x000D_Silenseed is an Israeli based R&D company developing novel delivery technology for siRNA drugs to enable cancer therapies without chemotherapy and radiation. The company is located at the campus of the Gene Therapy Institute of Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, and it benefits from the well-established and profound knowledge, vast experience and advanced facilities of Hadassah._x000D_

Acronym Z-Box (Reference Number: 4753)
Duration 01/04/2009 - 31/03/2011
Project Topic Z-box will develop an efficient, flexible and cost effective sterilization system for reusable medical equipment based on advanced use of ionized ozone gas in a closed system capable of achieving sizeable market share of the global disinfection and sterilization market 5 years post project.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 2

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 Scandinavian Dental Technology ApS Coordinator Denmark
3 Silenseed Ltd. Partner Israel
3 Bat ApS Partner Denmark