Fraunhofer and Mologic partner on point-of-care diagnosis and antibiotic susceptibility test for UTIs
- Project awarded £900K NHS development grant through SBRI Healthcare
- Test will allow better targeting of prescription antibiotics and address growing antimicrobial resistance
Bedfordshire and Glasgow, UK, 20 February, 2018: Mologic Ltd, which develops powerful, personalised diagnostics to improve the lives of patients, and Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (Fraunhofer CAP), a world-leading centre in the field of applied laser research and development, today announced they are working together to develop a rapid, point-of-care test to immediately diagnose bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) and any associated antibiotic susceptibility, in a primary care setting. The test will lead to a step-change improvement in informed, targeted prescriptions, addressing the increasing incidence of antimicrobial resistance, as well as saving healthcare costs and time. The project has been awarded a £900K development grant from SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England initiative, led by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) that supports innovative companies to solve healthcare problems.
The technology works by uniquely combining nanophotonic waveguides and microfluidics to determine the response of bacteria to minute quantities of antibiotics, and capitalises on Fraunhofer CAP’s proven capabilities in photonic technology with Mologic’s expertise in the commercialisation of in vitro diagnostic (IVD). Other partners in the project are Wideblue, Kelvin Nanotechnology, University of Strathclyde, and Barclay Medical Practice.
SBRI Healthcare awarded the £900,000 funding as part of an NHS drive to deliver new innovation in general practice, with the project being one of ten novel technologies that were identified as having the potential to revolutionise future primary care and GP services. The development award follows an initial six months feasibility funding of £92,000 made to Fraunhofer in April 2017.
Simon Andrews, Executive Director, Fraunhofer UK Research commented: “Over-prescription of needless antibiotics is fuelling the rising tide of antimicrobial resistance that threatens to render current antibiotics ineffective. We have already proven that our technology can successfully detect bacterial infections and at the same time establish susceptibly to different types of antibiotics. By partnering with Mologic, we look forward to bringing this and similar products closer to patients.”
Mark Davis, co-founder and CEO at Mologic commented: “Antibiotic resistance is a global challenge which if not addressed will have catastrophic consequences for world health. By combining our expertise in developing and commercialising IVDs with Fraunhofer’s research and technology experience we have a real opportunity to better target treatments and avoid the inappropriate use of antibiotics. The technology has significant potential not only in the treatment of UTIs but far beyond. We thank SBRI Healthcare for recognising this, and we look forward to their ongoing support.”
Simon Andrews, Executive Director, Fraunhofer UK Research
Mark Davis, co-founder and CEO at Mologic
About Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics www.cap.fraunhofer.co.uk
The Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, UK, is a world-leading centre in the field of applied laser research and development. We are your external, flexible, R and D resource in laser and optical technologies.
Fraunhofer CAP is involved in a wide range of photonics applications including energy, security, environmental, sensing, space, life sciences and quantum technologies.
The core competencies at Fraunhofer CAP extend from applied research and development through to design, testing and characterisation of systems and modules as well as building pre-production prototypes.
About Wideblue and its role in the project www.wide-blue.com
Wideblue is an award winning product design consultancy based in Glasgow where it specialises in the design and manufacturing of optical systems and new medical devices. During the project Wideblue will develop the point of care tester and work closely with Mologic and Fraunhofer to ensure the device meets the optical and regulatory requirements. The project is a good fit with Wideblue’s skills and experience utilising the Company’s optical design, electronics, software and mechanical engineering skills together with its ergonomics and prototyping expertise.
About SBRI Healthcare www.sbrihealthcare.co.uk
SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Healthcare is an NHS England funded programme that provides funding and support to innovative companies to solve healthcare problems. The SBRI Healthcare team works closely with clinicians and frontline NHS staff to identify key challenges from within the service, focussing on specific areas recognised as priority by NHS England and the 15 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN). The programme aims to improve patient care, increase efficiency in the NHS, and support the UK economy by helping smaller companies grow.
The SBRI Healthcare programme is based on taking a two-phased development approach. Projects start with an initial feasibility study (Phase 1) and can then move on to detailed product development (Phase 2). Phase 1 contracts for feasibility testing are valued at up to £100,000 and last for six months. Phase 2 contracts for prototype development are worth up to £1 million and can extend over two years. Each contract is 100% funded by SBRI Healthcare and while the public sector has the right to license the resultant technology in certain circumstances, its intellectual property remains with the company.
The programme’s network of innovative companies extends throughout the UK. Since launching in 2009, £75 million has been awarded to over 150 companies developing solutions for major NHS challenges such as cancer detection, dementia care, mental health in young people and self-management of long-term conditions. SBRI Healthcare supported companies are already making an impact.