Mologic Limited is an exploratory research group within Alere Inc. (a global diagnostic and patient care company), with a focus on antibody-based diagnostic technology and molecular recognition.
The company’s core technology themes include peptide chemistry, immunochemistry, assay development, protein modification and biomarker discovery. This expertise is currently applied to a number of clinical areas including wound care, respiratory disease, diabetes and chronic inflammation.
Academics from Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences, led by Peter Lambert, Professor of Microbiology, have embarked on a collaboration with Mologic Limited and IG Innovation, with scientists from the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to develop a simple, inexpensive, effective, point of care immunodiagnostic system for early confirmation of sepsis in at-risk patients.
Sepsis is a life-threatening clinical condition caused by an extreme inflammatory response resulting from the body’s overreaction to an infection.
To date, it has been difficult to distinguish between the early signs of sepsis and non-infectious inflammatory conditions. Current testing specifically for sepsis in patients is costly and there is a lack of clear clinical evidence or expert guidelines as to their clinical usefulness. This project will aim to identify interactive biomarkers which will help to detect the early signs of sepsis, allowing clinicians to initiate therapeutic interventions in time to prevent irreversible progression into a critical state.
The biomarkers will be integrated via a new algorithm with other physical/clinical indicators, and refined using a unique bank of ‘sepsis-risk’ patient samples and controls held within the consortium, before final clinical validation. Strong pilot data gained with the markers and the sample bank will give confidence in the utility and relevance of the test.
This project will lead to improved patient survival and care resulting in reduced healthcare costs to the NHS due to a shorter amount of time being spent in hospital. By accurately excluding the diagnosis of sepsis the test will also help reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.
The product is intended to be manufactured in the UK and sold globally. This will contribute to UK wealth generation through the creation of additional jobs, as well as the direct earnings from national and international sales of the product. Moreover, jobs will be created or preserved in support of the product research and development programmes
The benefit to the academic and clinical partners will be the challenge and stimulation of being involved in a focused practical project. If successful, the test system could be used in Intensive Care Unit situations as well as the Out Patient and General Practitioner settings, which would revolutionise sepsis treatment.
Professor Paul Davis, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Mologic Limited said of the project: ‘The Mologic team is highly skilled in developing solutions to technical and clinical challenges in diagnostics for human healthcare, especially for use outside the laboratory, at the point of care. We are looking forward to working with Aston academic scientists who have an impressive track record of research on the diagnosis of infection through detection of host biomarkers. By combining our skills we intend to bring about a major improvement in the early diagnosis of sepsis, saving time and ultimately saving many lives. The TSB funded project allows us to design and develop a new kind of test test system for use on the wards or in the ICU, without having to wait for laboratory tests to be completed before starting life-saving treatment.’
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