QuantuMDx wins NE innovation award for handheld DNA sequencer
10 October 2013
Newcastle-based diagnostics company QuantuMDx has been awarded
the Insider's 'Made in the North East' Life Sciences trophy in
recognition of its ground-breaking handheld DNA sequencer.
The sequencer will be able to rapidly diagnose diseases in
minutes and for a fraction of the price of traditional lab-based
diagnostics, making it suitable for applications in both developed
and developing countries.
Chief Operating Officer Dr Sam Whitehouse and Research Manager Dr
Jonathan Salmon were presented with the Medical & Life Sciences
Award in recognition of the impact this medical device will have on
global medicine at its commercial launch anticipated in 2015.
QuantuMDx's low cost handheld device, the Q-POC, carries out DNA
analysis on any body sample, such as blood, spit or even tumour
tissue, and provides disease diagnosis in under 15 minutes by a
patient's side. The device uses the company's unique technology, a
nanowire biosensor chip, to detect DNA sequences and convert the
results into computer code. Tests are currently in development for
cancer, malaria, TB, a panel of common STIs and correct warfarin
The handheld device should provide the same quality of result as
a referral laboratory, at a fraction of the time and cost. Each
device could cost about the price of a smart phone initially, but
may be issued for free in developing countries. A single-test
cartridge will be around £10 initially, but the aim is to reduce
this cost to ensure affordability in resource-limited settings. A
desktop version, the Q-SEQ is also being developed using the same
QuantuMDx is currently working with some of the most influential
academic, industrial and charitable organisations across the world
to introduce the device into resource scarce settings in Africa,
India and the BRICS nations as well as into the NHS and hospitals
and clinics in developed countries.
Dr Whitehouse said "To see our achievements rewarded by Insider
and the North East community is a testament to not only to our
cutting edge technology but to our dedicated team, working hard to
make our vision of democratizing global healthcare a reality. Many
fellow North East businesses were astounded to learn that something
so advanced could be made by a small company right here in Newcastle
upon Tyne. It was wonderful to see the variety and quality of
manufacturing expertise in the area, and we're proud to be
recognized as a jewel in the crown of this vibrant community."
As a regional winner QuantuMDx Group will now be shortlisted for
the 2014 International Festival of Business awards due to take place
in Liverpool next year.