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Ontera, QuantuMDx Partner on Sepsis Test Development

NEW YORK – Santa Cruz, California-based Ontera and Newcastle upon Tyne, UK-based QuantuMDx said Tuesday that they are collaborating to develop technology for the detection of bloodstream infections and drug-resistance.

The technology will use QuantuMDx’s rapid cell/sample preparation technology, Capture-XT, and Ontera’s nanopore biosensor. The combined technologies may enable clinicians to interrogate blood specimens of people presenting with signs and symptoms of sepsis, allowing guided-care management at the bedside. It may also enable the identification of sepsis and resistance to most common antibiotics in less than 30 minutes, the firms said.

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

QuantuMDx’s Capture-XT technology in development captures, concentrates, and enriches targeted pathogens from a large sample volume, quickly enabling visual diagnosis and downstream use in applications such as drug-susceptibility analysis, PCR, NGS, and, with this collaboration, nanopore detection, according to the partners.

Ontera’s single-pore platform in development provides fast amplification of multiple bacterial targets and differentiation between antibiotic resistant and susceptible strains. The company's silicon nanopore technology enables quantitative measurement of nucleic acids, proteins, and small molecules in minutes, avoiding time-consuming laboratory procedures that can delay precise treatment, they added.

QuantumMDx Chief Scientific Officer Jonathan O’Halloran said in a statement that its "early prototype testing has already shown sensitivity in the range required for this kind of test and [is] performed in minutes from spiked bacteria in whole blood."

Last month, QuantuMDx and SpeeDx announced a collaboration with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to assess the feasibility of porting SpeeDx sexually transmitted infection tests to the QuantuMDx point-of-care testing device.