St George’s, University of London, will be directly collaborating in a far-reaching project with longstanding commercial partner QuantuMDx to further develop and test its diagnostic technologies for tuberculosis, which causes nearly three deaths every minute.
The project will be supported by a grant received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Researchers led by Professor Philip Butcher at St George’s will apply the University’s expertise in TB bacteriology and facilitate access to specialist biological containment TB laboratories in order to further develop and test the QuantuMDx’s CAPTURE-XT™ and Q-POC™ technologies.
The project is part of an overarching collaborative agreement between QuantuMDx and St George’s to develop diagnostic technologies for TB, malaria and STIs, etc, while addressing the global emergency issues of antimicrobial drug resistance. Professor Sanjeev Krishna, of St George’s, chairs QuantuMDx’s Infectious Diseases Advisory Board.
Jonathan O’Halloran, QuantuMDx’s Chief Scientific Officer said that “The ultimate aim of our project is to provide a new diagnostic paradigm for TB that will detect cases earlier and stratify them into the appropriate treatment regimens so that we can reduce transmission and mortality and move the world closer to TB eradication. To do this we have developed novel technologies that will seamlessly integrate our diagnostics into existing microscopy centres, clinics and hospitals in high-burden countries for the rapid detection of TB and antibiotic susceptibility testing - finally providing low cost and new molecular diagnostic solutions that will reach the 4.3 million people with TB who are ‘missed’ by healthcare systems each year.”
Technical success will lead to further collaborative efforts to test and implement a diagnostic test that addresses the global imperative to improve TB diagnostics and meet the emerging challenge of controlling drug resistance.
Philip Butcher, Professor of Molecular Medical Microbiology at St George’s said: “Supporting the development of innovative sample processing and diagnostic methods by QuantuMDx is a good example of commercial enterprise and academic partnership that drives much-needed advances in rapid diagnostics for tuberculosis.”
The funding received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help further develop and test the CAPTURE-XT™ pathogen concentration technology and Q-POC™ molecular diagnostic platform for rapid low cost TB detection and drug susceptibility testing in response to World Health Organisation target product profiles.