Handheld Disease Diagnostics from QuantuMDx
In a world that is increasingly driven by the forces of capitalism that often do not benefit the less fortunate, investors are becoming more and more aware of “socially responsible investing“. Aside from the “feel good” aspect of this movement, there is money to be made. The saying “sell to the rich and live with the poor, sell to the poor and live with the rich” has some truth to it. With at least 80% of humanity living on less than $10 a day, it merits investors to look for companies that benefit the less fortunate while offering a compelling value proposition. QuantuMDx is one such company that investors should take a closer look at.
Founded in 2008, UK based QuantuMDx uses nanowire biosensors to provide a handheld diagnostic device that will retail at $840 and target diseases prevalent in third-world countries. Just this month, QuantuMDx closed an $8.4 million funding round from philanthropist private investors and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne to further develop their technology. Prior to their latest funding round, the Company had taken in minimal funding in grants and an Indiegogo campaign.
The Q-POC Device
QuantuMDx is looking to provide a handheld laboratory that will deliver complex diagnostics in minutes for a few dollars in any setting across the globe. The Company is targeting three areas; malaria, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases. Let’s take malaria as an example. Every minute, a child dies of malaria somewhere in the world. Physicians in third-world countries will often prescribe antimalarials as an initial response to patients with a high fever. This has led to an increased prevalence of drug- resistance, and is a waste of valuable limited resources. More importantly, it risks the lives of patients infected with a drug-resistant strain of malaria as the frontline therapy will be ineffective. With the Q-POC handheld test unit, a blood test for malaria infection can provide results in just 10-15 minutes.
The handheld, user-friendly, unit is simple to use with a single button operation and through a mobile data connection, can upload the results to “the cloud” where disease information can help track and control outbreaks. It’s easy to see how such testing can also help control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in places such as sub-Saharan Africa where 70 percent of all people living with HIV reside.
Field trials will commence in early 2015 for Q-POC’s first assays in malaria speciation/drug resistance, in partnership with NGOs and hospitals in several African countries, in anticipation of a commercial launch of their device later in 2015. A company like QuantuMDx is most likely to be out of reach for most retail investors, however, they do appear open to finding investment funds outside of just VC firms. For those investors who would like to discuss potential investment opportunities, you can email Business Development Manager, Jonathan Peat, or give him a call at +44 (0) 870 803 1234.