Enigma Diagnostics awarded £1.8 million to develop rapid DNA test
for infectious diseases
23 September 2008
Enigma Diagnostics has been awarded a grant of £1.8m from the UK
Government's Technology Strategy Board under the Technologies for Health
The objective of the programme is to develop a 'gold-standard'
portable, rapid, automated DNA analysis (PRADA) molecular test system
for the diagnosis of infectious diseases in decentralised and
point-of-care settings such as GP surgeries.
The focus of the programme will be on sexually transmitted diseases
including Chlamydia and healthcare associated infections including MRSA.
The PRADA system development will be led by Enigma Diagnostics and
based upon its proprietary technology. Researchers at the Centre for
Healthcare Associated Infections at Nottingham University and Nottingham
Trent University, will develop and validate real-time molecular assays
for the platform.
Point-of-care molecular tests for critical infectious diseases are a
significant unmet clinical need. Chlamydia is the most common sexually
transmitted infection in the developed world. Most people with Chlamydia
have no symptoms and many are unaware that they have the infection. If
left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to long term health problems, such as
infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease. Rapid systems for
point-of-care testing will enable healthcare professionals to accurately
diagnose Chlamydia and treat it immediately, removing the need to track
down patients days or weeks later.
MRSA is a significant public health problem and rapid point-of-care
testing is essential for effective patient management. The NHS is
introducing MRSA screening for patients admitted to hospitals in order
to help reduce severe infections. The new PRADA system will allow rapid
testing for emergency and out-of-hour's admissions, allowing doctors to
make quick decisions about how their patients are managed while
effectively reducing healthcare costs.
John McKinley, Chairman of Enigma Diagnostics, said: "We are
delighted to have received such substantial funding to support this
project and to be working with two leading UK clinical partners. We are
committed to delivering rapid, cost effective diagnostic systems that
will substantially improve patient care and help eliminate the spread of
See also: UK technology board invests £15m in
medical device and telecare R&D