Areas of focus
MicroBioSensor is addressing a number of unmet market needs for faster infection diagnosis with a range of disposable, point-of-care IVD products.
The following are our key areas of focus.
Around 10% of the world’s population has some form of chronic kidney disease, with approximately three million patients requiring either haemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD).
One of the most frequent complications undermining the success of PD is peritonitis, which is the inflammation of the peritoneum or peritoneal membrane. Contamination during a peritoneal dialysis session is a typical cause. Prevention of peritonitis and prompt and appropriate management is essential for the long-term success of peritoneal dialysis in all patients. One in 20 peritonitis episodes results in the death of the patient.
Samples are sent to central hospital microbiology laboratories for testing, to confirm infection and determine its susceptibility to different antibiotics. It typically takes >2 days to confirm bacterial infection, and always takes >2 days to obtain antibiotic susceptibility information.
“The diagnostic results usually arrive 48h too late to have a meaningful impact on patient treatment…” Anand Vardhan, Consultant Nephrologist, MRI.
MicroBioSensor is developing products to address the following unmet needs in peritonitis diagnosis and treatment:
- A simple test for use in-clinic confirming peritonitis and indicating whether it is a gram-positive or gram-negative infection.
- An early warning system that unambiguously screens for peritonitis for use by patients in their own homes.
- An in-clinic test that rapidly (<5hr) provides antibiotic sensitivity information for the infection for all front-line antibiotics.
MicroBioSensor’s first two PD products are due to be trialed in in 11 leading nephrology clinics in the UK during Q1-Q2 2020. This study is being led by Professor Martin Wilkie (Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).
Advanced Liver Disease
The global prevalence of liver cirrhosis is estimated at 4.5% to 9.5%, or 50 million adults. 600,000 people in the UK have some form of serious liver disease, and it is the third leading cause of premature mortality. More than £2 billion is spent annually treating liver disease in England alone.
Approximately 50% of patients diagnosed with cirrhosis will go on to develop ascites, with 25% of those developing Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis (SBP), a serious complication and cause of death for cirrhosis patients.
For diagnosis, ascitic fluid is sent to the central hospital microbiology laboratory to confirm infection and to assess the susceptibility of the infection to different antibiotics. This typically takes >4 days to be completed.
MicroBioSensor is developing an in-clinic test that rapidly (<5 hours) confirms SBP and provides antibiotic sensitivity information for the infection for all front-line antibiotics.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common outpatient infection. The prevalence of UTIs increases after age 65, and is especially high in people with neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In the UK 1%-3% of all GP consultations are UTI-related, representing over 5.5 million GP visits every year.
The number of UTIs resistant to common antibiotics are increasing, with more than 34% of infections now not responding to some antibiotics. Over-use of partially ineffective antibiotics increases the development of antibiotic resistance. It typically takes at least five days for antibiotic susceptibility information to be available and passed back to the GP.
MicroBioSensor is developing a simple, inexpensive, point-of-care test suitable for use by untrained workers in care homes, pharmacies, or GP practices that rapidly (<5 hours) provides antibiotic sensitivity information for the infection for key front-line antibiotics.