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Published: 17 April 2024

Leading experts in infection diagnostics at St George’s, University of London have partnered with Tachmed to accelerate the development of their first in market, affordable diagnostics that are connected digitally for use in the home.

Tachmed is a developer of at-home digital healthcare solutions that deliver fast, accurate diagnoses and identify healthcare trends and threats. They are currently developing a new diagnostic platform for an array of health conditions using groundbreaking graphene biosensor technology.

The partnership will lead to the creation of diagnostic tests that remove the need for patient interpretation of results and can be done in the comfort of their home. The platform will automatically send results straight to the patient’s healthcare practitioner so a diagnosis or treatment plan can be made without the need to wait for a doctor’s appointment, ultimately streamlining access to healthcare.

Expert knowledge exchange 

During the four-month collaboration, which is funded by an Innovate UK Accelerated Knowledge Transfer grant, Dr Henry Staines from St George’s will provide critical knowledge exchange to boost the development of the technology by optimising Tachmed’s biosensor that is required to confirm if a pathogen is present or not within a patient sample.

This will be achieved through two approaches, initially focusing on using the Covid-19 virus. Firstly, support will be given to Tachmed on how to best select the optimal antibody and its integration into the biosensor to accurately detect the presence of the virus. Secondly, they will support the company in creating an extraction solution that ‘releases’ the correct antigen from the virus in the patient sample, which is detected by the antibody on the biosensor.

Once the biosensor has been developed, the vision is that this collaboration will lead to the development of a broad range of assays or tests for infectious and chronic disease factor recognition. The first tests will include a respiratory panel within Tachmed’s home-based digital diagnostic technology so people can test for multiple respiratory infections - including Covid-19, influenza A (flu) and respiratory syncytial virus Infection (RSV) – in one go.

Streamlining healthcare

Ultimately, they hope this will lead to even more sophisticated digitally connected diagnostics that can test for an array of pathogens and disease markers wherever they can be detected, be that in the blood, urine or saliva – not just in nasal swabs.

“This collaboration is a perfect fit where we can inject our expertise and unlock a faster pathway of innovation for Tachmed. This technology could transform the way infections and other illnesses are diagnosed and monitored. It will fit seamlessly into people’s busy lives whereby getting a diagnosis doesn’t interfere with the school pick-up or work commitments, and removes barriers for those with mobility issues so they can get the healthcare they need without delay.”

- Dr Henry Staines, Senior Lecturer in Global Health in the Institute for Infection & Immunity at St George’s -

Springboard to accelerate tech

Paul Christie, Chief Executive of Tachmed, said: “There is growing demand by consumers, spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, to have greater control over their health and wellbeing.

“We’re excited to work with scientists at St George’s who will give us the springboard we need to accelerate the growth of our at-home diagnostics with pace, as they support us in our mission to make healthcare innovations that are accessible to all.”

This is the first funding from the Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership that has been secured by St George’s, University of London. By giving a key industry partner a boost in their knowledge gap for product development, this work supports the university’s strategic objectives to ensure that St George’s research and knowledge has the greatest possible impact.

Through the Open 4 Business initiative, St George’s has expanded it’s offering for industry partners and is increasing it’s capacity for further partnerships, welcoming new collaborations with small and medium enterprises who are looking to work with academic and clinical experts.

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