24 Feb 2014

QuantuMDx launches crowdfunding campaign to help eliminate malaria with handheld lab

QuantuMDx Group Limited, a pioneering biotech company supported by Newcastle Science City, has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to develop and trial its 15-minute malaria/drug resistance test using their handheld laboratory.

With one child dying every minute of malaria, the funds raised will be used to further expand clinical trials of the company’s malaria diagnostic to allow health workers to tackle drug resistance.

The low cost, handheld device carries out DNA analysis on samples such as blood, spit or even tumour tissue, to provide a rapid diagnosis of disease in less than 15 minutes and at a fraction of the cost of traditional lab-based diagnostics.

With no need for clean water or stable electricity, QuantuMDx’s rugged and user-friendly handheld lab will offer a technology leap to developing nations, giving even the most rural communities access to life saving diagnostics.

CEO Elaine Warburton OBE said “Our crowdfunding campaign is unique.  Not only are we looking for contributors to support this phenomenally worthy cause to help save many hundreds if not thousands of children’s lives, but we’re also offering everyone the chance to leave a lasting legacy in the fight against malaria by contributing their winning ideas to the look and feel of our device and to take part in re-naming it from the current research name of Q-POC™. Who knows, perhaps we’ll find the next Jonathan Ive?”

The device, which is currently under development to diagnose diseases such as cancer, malaria and TB, will be capable of being deployed in both developing and developed countries and is expected to launch commercially in 2015.

CSO Jonathan O’Halloran said “We have spent years developing our tech and we now have a prototype device that has completed a sample-to-result malaria DNA test in under 15 minutes. Contributions will help take our life saving device from the lab to the field and directly save lives. We have health workers around the world crying out for our technology and are now receiving the support of major NGOs, we just need help to finalize our development and drive the technology through clinical trials.”

The company is currently working with some of the world’s most influential academic, industrial and charitable organisations to introduce the device into developing countries such as Africa, India and the BRICS nations, as well as the NHS, and hospitals and clinics worldwide.

Glen Kemp, Business Support Manager at Newcastle Science City who provided QuantuMDx with advice to help grow the business, said: “What QuantuMDx has developed is a ground breaking device which has the potential to help eradicate malaria on a worldwide scale.

“The fact that the product has been researched and developed in the North East is something that the region should be proud of. We look forward to seeing how the business and product develops in the aftermath of the crowdfunding campaign, and as the product enters the global medicine market next year.”

The Company will be releasing a series of trailers of the campaign to introduce the technology on their YouTube channel; www.youtube.com/user/QuantuMDxTV.

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