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Astek Diagnostics, MedStar Health Research Institute Extend Partnership Around UTI Detection System

NEW YORK — Astek Diagnostics said on Tuesday that it has extended a research partnership with the MedStar Health Research Institute that aims to improve the technology underlying a benchtop analyzer for the diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTI).

Astek's automated Jiddu system uses single-use sample cartridges and a fluorescence analyzer that detects UTI bacteria and generates an antibiotic susceptibility profile within one hour. It is being developed in collaboration with Key Technologies, and Astek plans to bring a urine-based test to market in 2025.

According to Astek, it began working with the Hyattsville, Maryland-based MedStar Health Research Institute — the research arm of healthcare provider MedStar Health — in mid-2023 on a pilot study to test, validate, and improve the system's technology. The second phase of that study launched last month, with the goal of transitioning the technology into a next-generation prototype system by April.

The Baltimore-based company said the alliance has now been extended. MedStar Health will begin providing dedicated lab space to the effort at no cost, which will enable the company to conduct additional testing of the Jiddu system including clinical studies at MedStar Health's facilities.

Additional terms of the expanded partnership were not disclosed.