Innovative and effective biological therapies exist to treat non-communicable inflammatory skin diseases (ncISD). However, diagnostic guidance when and how to use them is imprecise; no substantial innovation was made for decades. Due to this lack of innovation, high socio-economic costs are caused by ineffective unguided treatment – a waste of resources. Existing ERC research aims at establishing individualised medicine in ncISD (IMCIS, grant agreement 676858). First success is a biomarker to distinguish psoriasis from eczema. Due to disease heterogeneity, these two ncISD cannot be distinguished in 10% of all cases with current gold standard diagnostics. Treating patients with the wrong therapy as a consequence of mis-diagnosis is inefficient and might even be harmful. This PoC proposal follows the path of IMCIS and closes the gap between ERC research and a prototype device of a point-of-care microfluidic testing device to distinguish psoriasis and eczema based on their molecular signature (peLabDisk). The proposal is feasible, as there is a high level of expertise created by joint forces of researchers of the Technical University of Munich and Hahn-Schickard providing extensive competence in the development, construction and manufacturing of microfluidic cartridges for medical applications. The project plan consists of well-defined work packages and milestones. Furthermore, success of the individual work packages is supervised by experienced experts (TUM Entrepeneurship). This PoC proposal is not the end – there is a clear roadmap and a detailed strategy for the post-PoC phase including potential end-user network and supported foundation of a spin-off company. peLabDisk represents the first approach of molecular diagnostics in the field that is easy-to-handle, robust and valid, as well as economic. It is superior to current gold standard diagnostics. Furthermore, peLabDisk is a use-case for point-of-care molecular diagnostics in complex inflammatory diseases.
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