Expanding the molecular point-of-care test menu with two gram-positive cocci
Infectious diseases need to be treated as early as possible, before the infection can progress and lead to complications and even death for the patient and transmission to others. Today, early and appropriate treatment, however, is hampered by the use of culture-based testing that take more than two days and thus results in empirical treatment and the overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics that are associated with complications like deadly C. difficile diarrhea and the development of antibiotic resistance. Now there may be a quicker and cheaper alternative, creating better health outcomes for patients and saving the health care system money from both rapid (<1h) lower-cost testing and reduced patient stays in hospital.
GenePOC has used technologies and intellectual property developed at the Infectious Disease Research Centre of Université Laval (CRI) under the leadership of its director, Dr. Michel G. Bergeron, to develop a simple cost-efficient, rapid, specific and sensitive, integrated point-of-care molecular testing instrument, together with a disposable device called PIE, to support close-to-patient diagnosis for infectious diseases. The instrument works by identifying specific microbial gene sequences. Health care providers in multiple settings, including hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, can use the instrument to rapidly diagnose and select the optimum treatment for several infectious diseases, all in less than one hour. In this project, Dr. Michel G. Bergeron and GenePOC are expanding the range of infections for which low-cost, portable instrument can test. Two new products will be developed, one for the detection of streptococcal pharyngitis and the other to detect staphylococci a major cause of severe and mortal hospital-associated infections often resistant to antibiotics.
In 2013, GenePOC won the prestigious “North American Molecular Diagnostics Entrepreneurial Company of the Year” Award. Now, as a result of the GAPP funding, GenePOC will be able to consolidate its position as the game changer in point-of-care gene-based diagnostics, with five tests on the market by 2018.