Genedrive plc announced on 6/20/2018 its receipt of a multi-partner grant award from the UK National Institute for Health Research’s Invention for Innovation programme, for the development and implementation of a point-of-care pharmacogenetic test to avoid antibiotic-related hearing loss in newborn children.
Due to an identified genetic predisposition, certain individuals develop irreversible hearing loss when exposed to gentamicin, an antibiotic used to treat several types of bacterial infections. In the UK, approximately 90,000 babies per year are treated with gentamicin on intensive care units. Antibiotic treatment should start within the first hour after admission, but current lab-based genetic tests are not able to return actionable results within that timeframe. A Genedrive® test is targeted to allow genetic results to be available within an hour, allowing alternative antibiotics to be used and thus avoiding the potential life changing adverse reaction to gentamicin.
The project is expected to commence immediately, with an expected development phase of one year followed by a trial implementation phase in selected NHS hospitals in year two. The Company will then target the release of a Genedrive® test within the NHS and more broadly. This project represents an important landmark for the Company’s Genedrive® platform as it is the first potential application outside of the low and middle income markets targeted with current HCV and mTB programmes. genedrive expects to account for its £550,000 share of the project funding as income which will be matched to costs incurred over the two year project. The exact amount and timing of the income is expected to be finalised shorlty by the signing of a collaboration agreement.
David Budd, Chief Executive Officer of genedrive plc, said: “The application of Genedrive® in an urgent healthcare setting is an excellent example of how a rapid, affordable, point-of-care test could impact patients’ treatment and quality of life. The NHS is a huge market place and, if adopted, this would be the first placement of Genedrive® in a developed world healthcare setting. The project is an exciting opportunity to expand the markets in which Genedrive® is used.”