The Swiss company, leader in stroke management, associated with listed Korean company Precision Biosensor to win the grant and further develop and commercialise its rapid test technology.
Geneva, 15 September 2021 - The Eurostars funding programme has granted a 2.4 million € grant to the international consortium led by the Swiss company ABCDx and including the South Korean partners Precision Biosensor and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital. The project will allow the development of a rapid test for acute stroke brain biomarkers to be used in the ambulance to improve stroke patients’ management, reduce the time of treatment and improve patient outcome.
“In my 20 years as a neurologist”, says Dr. Joan Montaner, ABCDx’s co-founder, stroke neurologist and leader of the Andalusian Stroke Network in Spain, “I have witnessed great improvements in stroke management, but as of today 85% of the patients arrive “too late” at the Hospital, worsening dramatically their prognosis”. Stroke affects 15 million people worldwide and the numbers are steadily increasing. Late treatment implies lower survival rates, lower chances of full recovery, and longer rehabilitation periods. “We want to increase the survival rate of stroke patients by reducing the time between the stroke and the treatment”, continues Dr. Montaner “and how can we save time? It’s simple: let’s speed things up by performing patient triage already at the ambulance”.
ABCDx is the world leader in acute brain injury biomarkers discovered and patented after decades of proteomic research at the Department of Medicine of the University of Geneva and at the Neurovascular Research Laboratory of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute in Barcelona. Prof. Jean-Charles Sanchez, co-founder of ABCDx and professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, describes that “ABCDx’s unique combination of biomarkers allows to diagnose with high specificity and sensitivity the type of stroke in a patient from a drop of blood taken directly in the ambulance, without the need of a preliminary diagnostic CT-scan that requires the infrastructure, dedicated personnel and increases substantially the time to treatment”.
To develop the rapid point-of-care test able to quantify the ABCDx’s brain biomarkers in the ambulance, Precision Biosensor (PB) will implement the test on its unique Time-Resolved Fluorescence Immuno-Diagnostic platform. The South Korean company is a leader in Point-of-care Testing solutions, and its platform is already operating in many Asian and European hospitals. Its rapid growth and large potential led to its public listing on the Korean stock exchange in December 2020.
“Precision Biosensor’s TRF Platform, combined with its software algorithm, possesses enhanced sensitivity and accuracy compared to the existing POCT products” points out Hanshin Kim, CEO of Precision Biosensor. “Such sensitivity and accuracy are essential to detect with sufficient precision the low concentrations of the brain biomarkers that allow the diagnosis of stroke patients. We are very happy to begin co-development of new POCT products in neurology area with ABCDx such a good biomarker company. We will make it a game changer”.
The test will be then validated at the Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, a pioneering institution in Stroke disease.
Eurostars is the largest international funding programme for SMEs wishing to collaborate on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes, or services for commercialization. Since its foundation in 2014 it has distributed 1.75 billion euros in grants to consortia that extend well beyond the European borders, including countries in Asia, North and South America, and Africa.
With the funds of the Eurostars grant, a rapid development and commercialisation of the stroke diagnostic device will be possible. “We don’t want to tell any more families it was too late, we don’t want to tell any more disable patients it was too late”, concludes Dr Montaner, “we know it is possible, it’s already happening, it’s already working, and the support of the Eurostars grant will make it real. It’s time to save lives”.