Teresa Della Mura
DVM, European Scientific Manager of ICF-DRN
Dr. Della Mura graduated with her DVM degree from the University of Veterinary Medicine “Federico II” in Naples, Italy. She is a small animal behavioral therapist and veterinary consultant for various veterinary clinics in Italy. From 1994 to 2000 Dr. Della Mura was the Head of Science in Central/South Italy for Hill’s Pet Nutrition. In 2003, she joined ICF-DRN, which was acquired by Nextmune in 2021 and is a subsidiary of Nextmune Italy.Read Articles Written by Teresa Della Mura
This article is part of the Behind the Design series published in the 2022 Clinic Innovation Guide. This article explores the design process for ICF products by Nextmune, from the perspective from a key leader in the process.
Antimicrobials are a powerful tool to address diseases in human and animal medicine, but overuse has led to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR occurs when a microorganism develops the ability to survive and reproduce despite antimicrobial use. Resistance can spread through the food chain, environment or direct contact.
Companion animals, especially dogs and cats, play a significant role in AMR development, carriage and transmission to humans. Pets whose infections are not completely eliminated can become reservoirs for resistant microorganisms, which they can pass to humans. In addition, the resistant bacteria will spread when pets are treated empirically and don’t receive the appropriate antimicrobial. If antimicrobials lose their efficacy, human and pet medical care will be significantly impeded. AMR threatens human and animal health worldwide, and antimicrobials must be used more judiciously to address this problem.
To address the AMR issue, veterinarians must prescribe antimicrobials only when they are completely necessary. This means finding other treatment options and ensuring they are just as effective. If safe, effective alternative therapies are available, veterinarians will be more willing to prescribe these products, thus decreasing antimicrobial resistance.
Through extensive research and experimentation, Nextmune developed products for treating allergic pets using a multimodal approach — without antimicrobials. These products are used extensively by veterinarians in 24 European countries, and veterinarians in the U.S. can now benefit from these innovative and conscientious products, including the ICF line, which focuses primarily on skin care.
Through extensive research and clinical experimentation, Nextmune developed products for treating allergic pets using a multimodal approach — without antimicrobials.
Allergic pets suffer from extreme pruritus and often have secondary pyoderma that worsens the issue. Nextmune skin products include:
- CLX Derm 4% shampoo — This product contains 4% chlorhexidine, glycerine, and lanolin. Chlorhexidine at 4% has been shown to be effective against a wide range of pathogens that can lead to skin disease. Glycerine is an excellent chlorhexidine carrier and works synergistically with lanolin to soften and protect the skin.
- CLX Derm Spot Gel — The gel formulation adheres to the skin giving the gel a residual activity. CLX Derm Spot Gel is 0.45% chlorhexidine, which is ideal for infected localized skin lesions, such as fold pyodermas. The gel also includes glycerin and lanolin to hydrate and moisturize the skin.
- Linkskin spray — This is a revolutionary topical approach to safely manage allergic dermatitis in all dogs and cats, including those weighing less than 3 kg. The spray can be used in combination with all pharmacological therapies during acute allergic flares to facilitate drug effectiveness. In addition, Linkskin spray can balance the skin’s microbiome and help prevent allergic flares. Active ingredients include:
- Tindallised lactobacilli — Beneficial bacterial cells counteract pathogenic bacteria from developing, and stimulate the pet’s immune system.
- Algae extracts — Filtered from underground sea water, algae extracts provide nutrients to support biodiversity and restore the cutaneous microbiome homeostasis.
- Tamarind dry extract — This ingredient moisturizes the skin and provides antioxidant activity.
- Plant polyphenols — This ingredient provides antioxidant activity and reduces inflammation.
- Marine exopolysaccharides (EPS) — These natural polymers have excellent moisturizing properties and are used in human cosmetics for their softening effects.
- Tris-NAC — Tris-N-acetylcysteine is a mucolytic that can be used in the ear or on the skin to prevent biofilm formation and to disrupt mature biofilm. Once mixed and activated, the product is effective for 50 days.
Ear infections are commonly seen in allergic pets. To address this problem, Nextmune developed effective ear treatments, including:
- Otodine — Otodine is an ear cleansing detergent used to treat chronic otitis externa. The product contains 0.15% chlorhexidine, and is extremely effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi and yeasts. At this percentage, chlorhexidine is not irritating and not inactivated by organic substances such as pus and exudates, and the effects are long-lasting. Otodine also contains Tris-ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid, which has direct bactericidal action against some bacteria and works synergistically with chlorhexidine and topical antibiotics.
- CLX Derm Oto Plus — CLX Derm Oto Plus is an ear cleanser used for routine ear cleaning in dogs, cats and puppies. The product can be used before otological treatments and can reduce inflammation and pruritus inside an allergic pet’s ear. CLX Derm Oto Plus contains 0.06% chlorhexidine, a mild formulation that can be used even when a damaged ear drum is expected. The product also contains lactobionic acid to provide moisturizing and anti-itch properties and glycerophosphoinositol lysine, which has anti-inflammatory properties similar to steroids, but without the side effects.
By providing a better quality of life for allergic pets without perpetuating the use of antibiotics, Nextmune products are helping to address the world’s AMR problem.