To increase access to diagnostics in lower income and lower-middle-income countries (LIC’s and LMIC’s) through affordable innovative technology and sustainable local production.
Management of fever (febrile illness) is a huge medical challenge. In Africa alone, over 600 million childhood fevers occur each year. Many febrile illnesses, especially in children present with highly non-specific and overlapping symptoms that are difficult to distinguish clinically .This is largely because the tools available for diagnosing and managing childhood illness are limited in resource poor settings.
The cause of fever tends to originate from viruses, to bacteria and parasites, most notably the malaria parasite and the lack of appropriate tests leads practitioners and providers to use a syndromic approach in an attempt to diagnose the cause of illness. This practice has a high error rate and leads to prolonged illness, and increased patient morbidity for otherwise treatable disease.
There is the added complication of over-prescription and mistreatment which inevitably leads to drug resistant bugs and wastage of important medical resources.
Antimicrobial resistance is increasing globally because of greater access to antibiotic drugs in developing countries.Estimates are that 700,000 to several million deaths result per year and continues to pose a major public health threat worldwide.
Several kinds of diagnostic technologies already exist that could be and are in use in resource-limited settings. It’s our belief that lateral flow immuno-assays are best suited for such environments. Prototype test development will be based on this model. We will be making a few simple but innovative modifications that should depress the cost of materials and reagents and improve the versatility of the test in a unique way. Conventional lateral flow assays utilize antibodies as molecular probes/biosensors. We would be replacing these with aptamers.
We have harnessed significant manufacturing cost-saving benefits with the use of just two recent innovative modifications to traditional fever diagnostic test strips . The modifications also improve test performance/accuracy and increase shelf-life of the finished product across a much broader range of temperatures.
The successful and timely implementation of this project would be dependent on establishing partnerships with key stakeholders involved in policy, research, healthcare delivery, as well as an influential political champion who is closely aligned with our goals and objectives. They would advise us on networking, strategy and ideas for new product development.
We believe in using an integrated approach to solving this problem combining the best-suited technology and a customized manufacturing plan reflecting the socio-economic environment. Our solution will help circumvent the impediments created by current traditional market-led business models and also fulfill the ASSURED criteria for point of care tests for infectious disease.
Better treatments through improved diagnostics
Our primary focus is the development and manufacture of a multiplex rapid diagnostic test that would discriminate the origin of fever between parasitic (malaria), viral and bacterial pathogens. Our envisioned prototype comprises of several innovative features and technologies that would make our tests superior to current industry models and also cheaper in cost for the end user.