2022 Cohort > Microplate Dx Limited

Microplate Dx Limited

Business Proposition

Microplate Dx is an agile diagnostics spinout company from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, specialising in a platform technology for rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) of bacterial and fungal infections. We offer a low cost, rapid, point of care solution to tackle antibiotic resistance and provide enhanced antibiotic stewardship. Our first product will tackle difficult-to-treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) – 13.7 % of all antibiotic prescriptions, and the cause of 25% of sepsis presentations. In time, we will expand the platform to address other infections including systemic sepsis, respiratory tract infections, meningitis and systemic fungal infections etc. Our offering enables vastly improved performance over the state of the art, with a time to result (TTR) for AST of < 30 minutes, of significant clinical importance.

The founders share a passion to improve the lives of patients suffering from persistent, drug-resistant infections, and have developed an award-winning, diagnostic sensor technology to rapidly identify the optimum antibiotic to treat a particular bacterial/fungal infection in < 30 minutes. We aim to become a world leading medical diagnostics company, specialising in rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing, with products designed and developed in the UK for global markets. Microplate Dx has completed initial R&D and is currently at the early clinical validation stage, where the technology is being evaluated with patient samples to assess system performance in a real-world setting.

Microplate Dx offers a novel method to assess antibiotic susceptibility at the point-of-care, removing the need to send samples to central laboratories for lengthy and often expensive processing.
The Microplate Dx platform is made up of:
(i) an electrochemical-based biosensor system featuring a core tabletop analytics reader (instrument)
(ii) product specific test cartridges for different infections.
Microplate Dx offers clinicians across the point-of-care (e.g. GP surgeries/primary care, secondary/tertiary care) the opportunity for judicious antimicrobial prescribing. By using the Microplate Dx system, clinicians will ensure:
• the right antibiotic gets to the patient at the right time
• the global threat to public health of antimicrobial resistance is reduced
• antimicrobial stewardship of existing antibiotic stocks is improved
• the lives of people at risk from drug-resistant infections are saved

The Microplate Dx technology has several USPs:
• it’s exceptionally cost competitive
• mass-manufacturable
• highly sensitive
• direct from sample test (no overnight pre-culture step required unlike many competitors)
• is amenable to a broad variety of sample types
• suitable for use at the point-of-care
• crucially, offers a rapid time to result in 30 min for antibiotic susceptibility testing

Current ‘gold-standard’ tests, based in central labs with a time to result of > 2 days(e.g. BioMerieux Vitek, BD, Beckman Coulter, Accelerate Diagnostics), simply cannot provide this. Even for the emerging technologies in the point-of-care AST space, the quickest TTR for AST is >4 hours.

The direct-from-sample aspect is highly important, as the majority of competitor technologies require a pre-culture step, effectively growing the bacteria overnight for 18-24 hours before AST can be performed, meaning that whilst they advertise a TTR of 4-8 hours, the reality is 4-8 hours + ~1 day. That extra day can be hugely significant in terms of patient survivability, particularly when it comes to sepsis, where early recognition and management is crucial .

The company has an exclusive licence to background patent filing (GB1913035.0)/PCT (PE959926WO) ‘Antibiotic Susceptibility Test’ protecting the gel-modified electrode sensors for AST.

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