UK-biotech Owen Mumford plans to launch an HIV diagnostic test in Europe that can produce an accurate result within 15 minutes.
Current rapid diagnostic tests for HIV can lead to misdiagnosis, for example when steps in the procedure are not followed in the right order, or too little blood is drawn. The new test, called Simplitude Pro HIV, aims to overcome these hurdles. It includes a built-in safety lancet, a blood collection unit and a strip test to make its use as straightforward as possible and ensure the right amount of blood is drawn. Owen Mumford has the exclusive rights to sell the test in Europe and plans to launch it on the European market early next year.
Developing diagnostic tests for HIV is a hot area in biotech at the moment. While antibody-based tests are the current norm, they cannot give accurate results until about four weeks after a person has been infected.
Molecular diagnostics, which look for genetic material from HIV, are a promising alternative and biotechs are working on making these approaches more accessible to patients. “Earlier diagnosis enables people with HIV to start treatment sooner, which increases their chances of living a long and healthy life and reduces the risk of transmission,” comments Tania MacKenzie, Senior Product Manager for Diagnostics at Owen Mumford.
Results from a recent report by market-research firm IDTechEx, based in Cambridge, UK, indicate that medical biosensors could reduce the spread of HIV by cutting the time needed to reach a diagnosis.
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