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FIND and QuantuMDx Partner to Develop Rapid Genome-based Diagnostics for Tuberculosis

FIND, a Geneva-based non-profit organization, is joining forces with UK diagnostics developer QuantuMDx Group to develop a combined solution for the rapid detection of tuberculosis and determination of drug resistance.

The time for full drug resistance profiling will be reduced from a week to less than half an hour based on the molecular detection of an extensive set of genetic markers by the simple handheld Q-POCTM device developed by QuantuMDx.

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.

Under the 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 noted 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, CEO of QuantuMDx said, “Our strategic partnership with FIND is of immense importance to QuantuMDx. 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-POCTM inventor added, "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."

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