UMCG Spin-off company Sabiad develops early detection of orthopedic infection

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The Innovation Center of the UMCG is proud to announce the launch of the startup company Sabiad. Sabiad develops a monoclonal antibody for visualization of Staphylococcus aureus-associated infections related to orthopedic implants. The detection is accurate and minimally invasive.
F.l.t.r.: Paul Jutte, Jan Maarten van Dijl and Saskia van den Dool

The company has been founded by industry veterans Ton van den Hoven, Saskia van den Dool and Professor Jan Maarten van Dijl, with support of the Innovation Center and based on the research of the group of Dr. Jan Maarten van Dijl, professor at the UMCG in Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention.

A rapid and precise diagnosis

Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is the major causative agent of implant-associated infections, particularly in cases involving hip or knee replacements. One in three people carry this bacterium without symptoms. However, SA easily colonizes and infects open wounds and propagates in patients upon surgical interventions, such as placing an implant. Treating implant-associated SA infections requires severe antibiotic therapy and, due to overuse, the bacteria have developed increasing resistance to the current antibiotics. Moreover, if the implant-associated bacteria enter the bloodstream, they can cause life-threatening infections at different sites in our body. The rapid and precise diagnosis of implant-associated infections can be lifesaving. Therefore, the primary application of Sabiad’s cutting-edge technology is this rapid and precise diagnosis. 

“The main innovation of Sabiad's solution is the use, for the very first time, of a monoclonal antibody for infection imaging. A few years ago, an antibody called 1D9 was developed in my group to detect Staphylococcus aureus, which allows the bacteria to be identified”, tells Jan Maarten van Dijl, one of the founders of Sabiad and professor medical microbiology and infection prevention of the UMCG.

Societal need

Extensive market research and insights gathered from leading orthopedic surgeons have confirmed the medical need and immense potential of this technology, in the field of hip and knee revision surgery. Sabiad will fully dedicate its activities towards advancing the clinical, technical, and economic feasibility for this purpose, solving the medical need. The number of hip and knee replacements in Europe and the USA is expected to grow to over 3 million cases in 2030 with obesity and aging as the main leading causes. About 1% to 2.4% of these implants become infected by SA. Patients will benefit from a reduction of potential complications after surgery, such as revision surgery or removal of the implant in worst cases. They will also recover faster with less discomfort. 

Professor Paul Jutte (Orthopedics UMCG) is connected with Sabiad as an advisor. He often experiences the misery that these types of infections and the late treatment have on his patients: “Our patients with an infection of their orthopedic implant literally state that they have no life; they are ill, disabled and cannot participate in society. Faster and more accurate diagnosis with the Sabiad platform technology is a fantastic development.”

About Sabiad

Sabiad was established in September 2022 based upon the research performed at the UMCG. The goal of Sabiad B.V is to enable early detection of infection. Sabiad continues to collaborate with the UMCG to develop this technology using a subsidy from the Open Diagnostic Ecosystem. Read more information on Sabiad via