(Geneva and Newcastle-upon-Tyne) FIND, a Geneva-based non-profit organization and QuantuMDx Group, a British medical device developer are joining forces in developing a paradigm changing solution for the combined detection of and drug susceptibility determination for the causative agent for tuberculosis. Based on the molecular detection of an extensive set of genetic markers by the simple handheld Q-POCTM device developed by QuantuMDx, the time for full antimycobacterial resistance profiling will be reduced from weeklong to less than half an hour. The uniqueness of the nanowire technology developed by QuantuMDx provides the potential to interrogate the bacterial genome with unprecedented precision, as it allows not only targeted detection of specific markers, but in addition (in a future evolution of the present system) genetic sequencing on the same technology platform. As part of this partnership, FIND is supporting the development of an appropriate and integrated sample handling compartment, while QuantuMDx continues its platform development.
Catharina Boehme, FIND’s CEO notes that ‘after an extensive screening of different Point-of-Care platform solutions amenable to the decentralized testing for tuberculosis, we concluded that QuantuMDx’s Q-POCTM system provides a unique set of capabilities which allows for the seamless integration of future genetic discoveries and hence will assure a long-term sustainability of the molecular testing approach for tuberculosis.’
Elaine Warburton, QuantuMDx’s CEO says “our strategic partnership with FIND is of immense importance to QuantuMDx as it not only affords us a wealth of experience and expertise in developing and commercializing a much needed diagnostic device for developing countries but also provides independent validation of our strongly held belief that the provision of low cost, truly point of care molecular analysis for speciation and drug susceptibility status is a practical and effective tool in helping support the early identification and eventual eradication of MDR-TB and other infectious disease humanitarian health challenges”.
Jonathan O’Halloran, QuantuMDx’s CSO and Q-POC inventor continues “"excitingly, our partnership with FIND will support us in navigating the complexities of commercializing a diagnostic device. Furthermore, with networked Q-POCsTM deployed in the field throughout the world we will have an early warning platform to monitor novel pathogens and emerging hotspots of drug resistance in real-time; a concept we like to call the Internet of Life™".
Launched in 2003, FIND is an international non-profit organization that bridges local understanding, global expertise and international partnerships to advance comprehensive diagnostic solutions and overcome diseases of poverty, including tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. FIND creates an enabling environment for innovative diagnostic developments through its knowledge of customer needs, its specimen banks, ‘Support for Success’ program, and accelerates market uptake of such solutions through effective interaction with health authorities and laboratory strengthening in the countries. FIND maximizes the life-saving impact of diagnostics: access to accurate treatment, disease control and eradication, efficient health care spending and empowered individuals, communities and countries.
About QuantuMDx Group:
Launched in 2008 and headquartered at The International Centre for Life in Newcastle, UK with subsidiaries in the USA (Chattanooga, Tennessee) and Asia (A*Star's Genome Institute of Singapore). QuantuMDx was co-founded by healthcare professional and CEO Elaine Warburton OBE, and inventor and CSO Jonathan O'Halloran both determined to play their role in finding a solution to some of the humanitarian health challenges. The Company has developed a working prototype DNA analyzer, Q-POCTM with a number of assays in the pipeline. A big focus for the Company has been on developing front end sample prep solutions for many different sample matrices to enable whole sample to result rapid diagnosis, making Q-POCTM a truly universal handheld diagnostic device. QuantuMDx is the recipient of a number of large grants from The UK's Innovate (MDR-TB assay), The Biomedical Catalyst Fund (tumour profiler), NHS NIHR's Invention for Innovation Program (DNA sequencing biosensor) and the European Union ("NanoMal" malaria assay).