CAMBRIDGE, UK (2013-11-12) – ProteinLogic, a biomarker discovery and exploitation company, Microtest Diagnostics, an in vitro diagnostic protein multiplexing company, and its collaborators have been awarded a grant by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s national innovation agency – to help support the development of MICROLOGIC™, a rapid point-of-care test for tuberculosis (TB).
Almost 9m new cases of TB occur annually and there are over 1m deaths every year despite most cases being curable. More than 3m people contracting TB each year go undiagnosed and untreated according to the World Health Organisation. WHO is now calling for accelerated uptake of new tools and strategies for better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all forms of TB. The MICROLOGIC™ test will enable the rapid differentiation of the active and latent forms of TB using a simple blood sample that can be taken and analysed at the point-of-care.
The three year £1.8m project will integrate ProteinLogic’s unique panel of biomarker proteins with Microtest Diagnostic’s CE-marked rapid diagnostic platform which can rapidly determine levels of multiple proteins in blood within a few hours and is suitable for use in a local doctor’s office. The Technology Strategy Board funding will be used to create a prototype device for rapid, point-of-care human TB diagnostics.
The consortium has been enhanced by the expertise of various global academic TB Groups who are currently working in the field to help eradicate the disease and who understand, first hand, what is needed for a rapid TB diagnostic. These include the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the University of Sheffield and the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Dr Ruth McNerney of LSHTM and Prof Keertan Dehda of UCT are members of the STOP TB Working Group on New Diagnostics and Dr McNerney chairs the subgroup on point-of-care tests. She is also an advisor to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on TB.
ProteinLogic’s Chairman Dr Paul Rodgers said: “We are thrilled that the Technology Strategy Board is funding this exciting collaboration. We are looking forward to working with our partners to develop a prototype device and accelerate the application of this innovation for the benefit of patients.”
Dr Paul Rodgers, ProteinLogic Ltd, telephone: +44 (0)1223 703146 firstname.lastname@example.org
ProteinLogic is a biomarker discovery and exploitation company developing a novel diagnostic platform and diagnostic products that address key unmet medical needs in infection and inflammatory diseases. The Company has developed a proprietary biomarker technology (ImmiPrint®) with potential to diagnose and predict early onset of diseases, and to provide information as to how a disease is likely to develop and respond to particular drug treatments. The technology is based upon the profiling of a discrete subset of immune system proteins (‘sCD’) found in the blood and other body fluids.
In addition to the TB diagnostic test there are a number of potential follow-on products in the Company’s pipeline including a novel test to stratify patients with chronic hepatitis B infection.
Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org