Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BiomemeDx (A study to establish the technical and economic feasibility of a mobile DNA and RNA testing tool, for use in general clinics and homecare.)
Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-09-30
The Biomeme-Fluorogenics partnership are working together to commercialise a handheld DNA testing machine called Three9, and a modular, compact manufacturing line to produce specialised kits for it called PodLab. Together we have worked on the specification for our two systems and investigated their commercial viability. In all, we expect Three9 to eventually democratise molecular diagnostics, and allow such tests to be carried out in point of care scenarios, humanitarian crises, and for other functions in the near future. These alternate functions include testing food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals for contamination and allergens, and bioterrorism defences. The current focus is on the testing for and tracking of infectious diseases. PodLabs is a miniaturised version of large production lines used to mass-produce commonly-used DNA test kits. As infectious diseases emerge and evolve so quickly, and because Three9 also targets underserviced illnesses, self-contained short-run production is seen as an ideal solution to its needs. Together the systems can also support development of new tests for diseases in research institutions - Three9 will provide the tester, and PodLabs will provide the production capacity at low cost.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
We investigated the state of the market as a whole, our customer segments, our technical and economic competitors, and developed a comprehensive business plan based on these factors, and an assessment of our technologies. The technological assessment includes a vision of the products at full-scale rollout, and the product development plan needed to reach this stage. In addition we developed commercialisation and communication plans, and an IP strategy to be implemented during the product development plan.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
Three9 is capable of testing for more conditions at one time than competitors, and integrates cloud storage and analysis for the raw data generated during the polymerase chain reaction DNA test on which the technology is based. This allows for exact identification of diseases like malaria and Dengue fever, both of which display identical symptoms but require radically different treatments. The human-machine interface for the device is an app which provides a simple readout for the user that both patients and doctors can interpret clearly. PodLabs is, thus far, unique in its intentions and applications. Laboratory automation providers typically focus on the supply of individual machines, while PodLabs provides for a miniaturised short-run production facility, built around familiar equipment.