The company has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of quantifying the levels of key biomarkers in sputum donated by cystic fibrosis patients as a way of predicting the onset of chest infections known clinically as 'exacerbations'.
The tests can be used to give both clinicians and patients 7 to 10 days advanced warning before an exacerbation and when commercialised, could lead to a reduction in hospital admissions and length of stay as well as improving healthcare outcomes in patients with the condition.
To add further complications to the ongoing management of CF, it is not possible to predict which antibiotics will be clinically effective when an exacerbation does occur. Doctors are forced to rely on monitoring the patient’s response after 5-7 days to see if the patient is recovering or not.
Aseptika's test will be objective and show early changes in levels of key biomarkers for each patient, which gives doctors and patients the chance to identify when a course of treatment is ineffective and requires a change in treatment, speeding up recovery time and reducing potential lung damage caused by recurrent exacerbations.
The company's initial trial at Papworth hospital's CF centre of excellence showed that the centre could save over £1.7m a year if it used the new CF exacerbation test.
According to Aseptika's director Kevin Auton the estimated savings are 50 per cent for each patient with CF severity in bands 2A or above and could lead to an annual cost saving for the NHS in treating the UK’s 9,000 CF patients of £57m.
"The test will be the same principle as a pregnancy test, so it will be used to self-monitor. Patients will spit on the test to see how virulent the bacteria in their lungs are at any one time, and be able to see when an exacerbation is starting," Dr Auton explained.
Dr Auton says that the SBRI competitions allows companies to get started on their great ideas and that his company would never have been able to raise funding for such an early-stage idea had it not been for SBRI backing.
SBRI is a case of relatively small amounts of money making the difference. It allows the development of the new products the public sector needs, supports the development of new UK companies and ultimately, helps change lives for the better.”
Activ8rlives brand is owned by Aseptika Ltd. http://www.activ8rlives.com