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|CEO Elaine Warburton OBE shows QuantuMDx's first prototype disposable handheld malaria diagnostic and drug resistance lab to Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science at the EU Innovation Conference ©EC/CE|
This World Malaria Day, British biotech QuantuMDx announces the first prototype of their pioneering disposable handheld lab for 15 minute malaria diagnosis and drug resistance testing. A low cost disposable cartridge is inserted into QuantuMDx's universal reader Q-POC™ to provide testing for a few dollars at the patient's side.
Rapid drug resistance testing will enable frontline healthworkers to prescribe the right drug, first time. QuantuMDx anticipates that this device will help to stem the rising tide of drug resistance by providing affordable and accurate testing for the estimated 200 million people who contract malaria each year, and maybe even play a supporting role in malaria elimination.
QuantuMDx's diagnostic technology is being harnessed to tackle malaria by the European Union FP7 funded NanoMal consortium led by St George's, University of London. This prototype brings the consortium one step closer to clinical trials, expected later this year in Gabon. These trials will benefit from the expertise of consortium partners Universitat Tubingen and the Karolinska Institutet.
As the World Health Organization (WHO) urges donors, organizations and institutions worldwide to "Invest in the Future" to defeat malaria, QuantuMDx utilized a novel approach to gather additional funds for their upcoming clinical trial. An Indiegogo campaign crowdfunded over $18,000 for the further development and production of assays for the trial.
Jonathan O'Halloran, co-founder and CSO said "After six years of development, it is rewarding to finally hold in my hand a prototype of our disposable test cartridge. This device represents a significant piece in the puzzle for my vision of a global network- an infectious disease monitoring system, wherein GPS data and real-time DNA sequence data are immediately analysed and used to track emerging new infectious disease threats and drug resistance.
Starting with malaria, this system will benefit not just the patient but also epidemiologists and public health officials, as real-time identification of novel pathogens and drug resistance mutations will allow for the mobilization of resources including the correct anti-infective to the exact site that these diseases originate. This will be significantly faster than relying on traditional methods of identifying & monitoring these diseases."
About QuantuMDx Group
QuantuMDx Group is one of the most exciting biotechs to emerge from the UK. Their robust handheld laboratory, which reads and sequences DNA and converts it into binary code using a tiny computer chip, is ideally suited to help address the humanitarian health burden by offering molecular diagnostics at a fraction of the price of traditional testing.
Rapidly & accurately detecting and monitoring emerging drug resistance of infectious diseases such as malaria, TB and HIV will enable health professionals to immediately prescribe the most effective drug against that disease. Once the device has passed regulatory approval, it will be available in developed countries for infectious disease testing and rapid cancer profiling and, in time, be available over-the-counter at pharmacies.
Headquartered at The International Centre for Life in Newcastle, UK with subsidiaries in the USA (Chattanooga) and Asia (A*Star’s Genome Institute of Singapore), QuantuMDx was co-founded by Elaine Warburton, inventor and CSO Jonathan O’Halloran and CFO Julian Warburton. Fellow Board members include CMO Professor Sir John Burn, COO Dr Sam Whitehouse and President of QuantuMDx USA Paul Fitzpatrick. Prof Sanjeev Krishna chairs the Infectious Disease Advisory Committee.
QuantuMDx has received numerous awards for innovation and is the recipient of a number of large grants from The UK’s Technology Strategy Board (TB diagnostic), The Biomedical Catalyst Fund (tumour profiler), NHS NIHR’s Invention for Innovation Program (DNA sequencer) and the European Union (“NanoMal” malaria diagnostic).
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