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Sysmex Astrego Wins £8M Prize for UTI Antibiotic Susceptibility Test

NEW YORK – Challenge Works said Wednesday that it has awarded an £8 million prize to Sweden's Sysmex Astrego for its development of a point-of-care urinary tract infection test that delivers antibiotic susceptibility information in 45 minutes.

The organization said that the PA-100 AST System received the Longitude Prize for its transformative performance in comparison with other tests on the market that typically deliver results in two to three days. The Sysmex Astrego system incorporates technologies that were developed at Uppsala University, and it was selected among entries from more than 250 teams.

The test uses a 400-microliter urine sample, a smartphone-size nanofluidic cartridge, and a shoebox-size analyzer to detect bacterial infections within 15 minutes and identify likely resistances within 45 minutes to aid treatment decisions regarding the use of antibiotics.

Challenge Works is part of the British innovation foundation Nesta.

The PA-100 AST System "challenges bacteria present in a patient's urine with microscopic quantities of antibiotics in tiny channels embedded in a cartridge the size of a smartphone," Sysmex Astrego CEO Mikael Olsson said in a statement. "We rapidly pinpoint whether a bacterial infection is present and identify which antibiotic will actually kill the bugs, guiding doctors only to prescribe antibiotics that will be effective."

Olsson said that the firm has begun rolling out the test in Europe and is conducting studies in surgical settings in the UK. The company will use the Longitude Prize money to support the development of the test for use with different types of urinary tract infections and antibiotics, he said.

The announcement also indicates that the company plans to develop additional tests that would use blood and sputum samples to detect other types of infections.