Newcastle-based QuantuMDx is to start field testing its hand-held malaria detection technology – a year ahead of schedule.
The smartphone-like Nanomal device uses nanotechnology to rapidly detect malaria infection and drug resistance by analysing the DNA from a fingerprick of blood and providing a diagnosis within 20 minutes, allowing healthcare professionals in remote areas to deliver effective treatments. Around 800,000 people die from malaria each year after being bitten by mosquitoes infected with malaria parasites.
In 2010 METRC and QuantuMDx invested in short term research projects with the universities of Newcastle and Sheffield to enable the company to accelerate the development of new products. These projects have led to long lasting partnerships between QMDx and the two universities. The company was so impressed with the academic expertise within the N8 universities that it relocated key overseas operations to Newcastle with the anticipated creation of over 30 scientific jobs.
QuantuMDx’s CEO Elaine Warburton said: “Placing a full malaria screen with drug resistance status in the palm of a health professional’s hand will allow instant prescribing of the most effective anti-malaria medication for that patient.
“Nanomal’s rapid, low-cost test will further support the global health challenge to eradicate malaria.”