Manchester-based Epistem, the UK biotechnology and personalised medicine company, has been awarded funding of €1.5mMillion by the European Commission.
The three-year grant has been awarded as part of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme as part of a
€6.0 million consortium project for the development of Point of Care Hepatitis C assays.
The primary objective of the consortium is to provide PoC diagnostic and predictive tests that enable tangible improvements in the health and quality of life of chronic Hepatitis C patients, while simultaneously helping to manage the rising cost of medical treatment.
It is an approach that capitalises on the consortiums combined expertise spanning leading edge miniaturised molecular testing, lab-on-a-chip systems and treatment algorithm design. These enabling technologies will permit the development and delivery of the first integrated genetic and protein biomarker tests, applied here to Hepatitis C disease for: (i) making the decision to treat; (ii) selection of therapy; (iii) response-guided monitoring; and (iv) clinical research practices.
Epistem will develop a number of tests on Genedrive® their hand-held CE-IVD marked PCR platform that provides rapid genotype tests results.
Epistem’s CEO, Matthew Walls, said “This support from the European Union will enable us to accelerate the development of a new range of affordable diagnostic and predictive tests that that will assist in the rapid and appropriate treatment of patients suffering with Hepatitis C in developed and under-developed countries. It also enables us to work together with internationally recognised leaders in HepC research and other leading SME’s to develop tests that are highly sensitive and can be used in Point of Care settings.”