08 October 2019

5 Diagnostic Companies Saving Lives Through Innovation

Globally, sepsis takes six million lives each year. It causes more deaths than breast cancer, lung cancer and stroke combined.

Current diagnosis is based on a non-specific set of symptoms, waiting for the causative elements to grow and a patient’s conditions to deteriorate. This type of diagnosis is too slow.

Seeing this, a new era of sepsis diagnostics is emerging with point-of-care (PoC) at the heart of everything. These tests provide actionable results at the PoC in just minutes, speeding-up the treatment process and ultimately saving lives from this ruthlessly quick killer.

Many of these cutting-edge tests have not hit the commercial market yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Here are my 5 companies that are set to save millions of lives through innovation:

Abionic

Abionic’s abioScope is the first nanofluidic based immunoassay platform. It can detect sepsis in just five minutes and diagnose the disease 24 hours before the first clinical symptoms appear. This means that patients can be treated earlier, which often produces a better outcome.

With this test, which is CE-marked and available in Europe, Abionic are well-placed to take the sepsis diagnostics market by storm. It’s one of the most innovative companies I’ve seen and expected to help save millions of lives in the future.

Immunexpress

Australian company, Immunexpress, are making similar inroads into sepsis diagnosis. Their SeptiCyte assay delivers actionable results in just 90 minutes.

In partnership with Biocartis, the SeptiCyte is run using the Idylla platform which combines a short turnaround time with accurate performance. The reliability of this technology means that reducing cases of overtreatment is a real possibility, meaning fewer patients and an improvement in prescribed treatments.

Inflammatix 

Taking a different approach to the norm, Inflammatix’s HostDx Sepsis test is turning a few heads.

Unlike traditional diagnostic approaches that look for blood-based pathogens, Inflammatix’s test measures the expression of multiple immune genes to identify the presence of bacterial or viral infections.

This disruptive approach is far more effective than blood-based tests, which can be unreliable and fail to detect certain sepsis cases. Inflammatix's technology is proven in dozens of studies involving over 2,400 patients and published in leading peer-reviewed journals.

Picking up the AACC’s Disruptive Technology Award earlier this year for the Rapid HostDx tests, it’s no surprise that Inflammatix are set to have a big say in this new space.

MBio

Inflammatix’s innovation is in no doubt, but my favourite technology comes from MBio.

Their LightDeck is a unique implementation of planar waveguide technology. Waveguides have been proven to be an excellent approach for uniquely sensitive assays. However, they have not seen widespread uptake in commercial products due to issues like reproducibility and cost. MBio claim to have addressed both.

This is an important breakthrough and it’s not just me getting excited. Mbio have received major investment from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Inc. (HJF) through research contracts.

With the cost issue addressed, the excitement seems warranted and we could see widespread adoption of this innovative LightDeck test throughout healthcare.

Nanomix

Cost is rarely a concern with Nanomix products. They are a leader in the development of mobile, affordable PoC diagnostics and are looking to apply their offerings to this new space too. 

Their Nanomix eLab uses a single patient blood, plasma, or serum sample to provide actionable results within 10 minutes. The device is simple to operate with an intuitive user interface on a touch screen.

With much anticipation surrounding its release in the US, this test will be an attractive option for a cost-conscious market.

The benefits of PoC diagnostics are clear. The more we can speed up diagnosis, the better and quicker treatment we can provide for patients. However, I’d love to hear what my connections think about this topic and I'm fascinated to learn more.

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