Point-of-care (PoC) medical devices have the potential to revolutionise clinical practice. SMEs within our Consortium (Epistem & Biosurfit) have developed genetic and protein PoC devices to deliver on this promise. Results from these enabling technologies will be integrated using novel bioinformatics tools and algorithms (Qlucore) allowing for bed-side analysis. This integrated genetic-protein approach will exploit recent biomarker discoveries from the FP7 project SPHINX, to improve the management of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients. We will focus on two public health problems: (i) addressing the need to predict, pre-treatment, individuals in resource poor countries (e.g. Egypt) who will benefit from conventional treatment; and (ii) helping to limit treatment costs globally, where new therapies for HCV are anticipated to significantly increase health care expenditures. The predicitve biomarkers are ready for immediate implementation and will greatly improve HCV patient management issues such as decision to treat, selection of therapy, and response-guided monitoring. The predictive power of the SPHINX biomarkers are reliant upon the combination of genetic and protein data. Highlighting the innovative aspect of our proposed work, no clinical algorithms have taken advantage of such a combined genetic / protein biomarker approach for diagnostic tests. To realise this vision, Qlucore will establish patient population-based algorithms that integrate the PoC data on a mobile application, thus facilitating immediate interpretation by physicians. Together, our Consortium will boost prior FP7 discoveries and deliver an integrated platform for predictive and prognostic applications. The associated SMEs will expand their portfolio, but more importantly, our consortium will forge a lasting partnership, formalised by the creation of a new corporation that will have the freedom to market and exploit our collective results.
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