QuantuMDx teams up with Swiss nonprofit to develop handheld TB test

QuantuMDx CEO Elaine Warburton

QuantuMDx is teaming up with a Swiss nonprofit organization to develop its handheld test for tuberculosis, building momentum for a full commercial rollout of its innovative diagnostic tool.

The company will join forces with Geneva, Switzerland-based FIND to further its Q-POC test, a point-of-care diagnostic device that uses nanowire technology to find specific biomarkers for tuberculosis. In particular, QuantuMDx and FIND will work on reducing the test's results time from one week to less than a half-hour and will create a sample-handling compartment for the device, making it ideal for use in developing countries, CEO Elaine Warburton said in a statement.

The partnership bodes well for the Newcastle, U.K.-based company as it pushes for a launch of its TB test and expands its product portfolio. In October 2013, QuantuMDx won a $1.6 million U.K. government grant to advance its rapid Q-TB diagnostic. In June 2014, the company roped in $8.42 million in funding to support development of its low-cost, handheld molecular diagnostic test and said it would use funds to kick off field trials of the device in early 2015.

QuantuMDx is not the only company hard at work on next-generation tuberculosis tests. In March, diagnostics powerhouse Qiagen ($QGEN) launched its tuberculosis blood test in China, four months after winning regulatory approval there for the product. The company bills its QuantiFeron-TB Gold test as more sensitive and easier to use than traditional tuberculin skin tests.

Fellow U.K. diagnostic company Oxford Immunotec ($OXFD) is also making headway with its blood test for latent tuberculosis infections. The company last year launched a public offering to spur development of its T-SPOT diagnostic tool and has already racked up key regulatory approvals for the product including FDA premarket approval and CE mark.

- read the release

Special Report: 10 trends in diagnostics - Hand-held devices for the developing world

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