PhenuTest Diagnostics Ltd
Every year, over 100 million people are diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). 1 in 2 women encounters it at some point in their life, making it a major problem worldwide. UTIs are the main reason for 22.7% of the UK's community antibiotic prescriptions (source: NHS England). Mis-prescribing of antibiotics, especially in urinary tract infections, leads to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). By 2050, AMR is estimated to cost the global economy $100 trillion (O'Neill '14). In the UK alone, hospital-acquired UTIs amount to a cost of over £400M/year. The current UTI testing procedure involves the samples being sent to a centralized pathological lab, and it takes some 48-72 hours for the results to come back. You as a patient, initially receive the first line of antibiotics, which is often wrong. As highlighted by NHS England in the 2016 Horizon report there is a serious lack of reliable, fast and cheap UTI diagnostic tests.
PhenUtest brings a state-of-art technology, enabling a 30-minute (sample to diagnosis) antimicrobial susceptibility test for UTIsuspected samples which ensures that the patient gets the correct antibiotic at their first GP visit. These tests will be performed in a benchtop instrument in a primary care setting. This instrument will be highly precise, fast, cheap and easy to operate.
Our proposed device; 'PhenUTest', will enable comprehensive, 30-minute Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (AST) on a compact instrument, at the point-of-decision (e.g. GP surgery) and will:
1) Avoid needless antibiotic prescription
2) Give clinicians confidence of antimicrobial sensitivity when prescribing
3) Reduce direct- and indirect-costs to NHS.
This will be a radical step forward to improving UTI healthcarepathway, ensuring patients get appropriate treatment immediately, whilst addressing the wider problem of AMR.
Our technology will not only save health services like the NHS millions of pounds but will also reduce the growth of antibiotic resistance.
The foundations of the company was laid when the patent was filed for the core diagnostic technology in Nov 2018. The idea of commercialising this technology started with Srijan Jindal, taking part in the NorthbyNorthWest Innovation-toCommercialisation of University Research (NxNW ICURe) Cohort E (15th June - 14th October 2020). He attended the Options Roundabout panel on the 13th October'20 and the panel recommended the project to spin out and to apply for the Innovate UK ICURe follow-on funding. With the help of the core management team, the ICURe grant was successfully obtained to setup the company and start the prototype development.
The aim of this gratn is to use our patented (patent pending; rights retained by PhenUtest) technology of rapid UTI assessment test and make a working prototype which can be applied in clinical settings. The proposed timeline will take the technology from the technology readiness level (TRL) 3 (current) to TRL 7 (at the end of the project). This will enable the company to raise both seed capital early in the project and be ready for Series A funding at the end, thereby adding massive value to the IUK investment.
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