Point-of-care for stroke subtype diagnosis to enable rapid treatment

Lead Participant: Pockit Diagnostics Ltd

Abstract

"POCKiT diagnostics is a UK company focused on the research and development of point-of-care diagnostic devices. Our main target is to develop a device for diagnosis of brain stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the first cause of physical disability and dementia worldwide. In stroke, the brain is damaged by restricted blood flow to the brain, which leads to death of brain cells. Two main types of stroke exist with patients having similar symptoms: ischemic stroke (IS) and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH); whilst they have similar symptoms, treatment is opposite. IS is caused by a clot in the brain- and treated with 'clotbusting' drugs which dissolve the clot. If the clotbusting drug given fast enough (within 3-4 hours) the patient may recover with little or no damage to the brain. ICH is caused by bleeding in the brain. Clotbusting drugs incorrectly given to ICH patient prevents clotting and healing, which is a disaster.

Therefore, accurate diagnosis of stroke subtype is paramount to inform appropriate treatment, as administration of the wrong treatment can lead to patient death. Unfortunately, if treatment is delayed- for example to wait for results of slow diagnostic tests, or during transport of patient to the hospital- it becomes less effective. Currently, diagnosis of stroke is performed with CT imaging- a brain scan- which takes a significant length of time, it is not always available and the patient must be taken to equipped hospital, and is not accurate enough.

""Fplus1"" is a revolutionary innovation in that it combines ultra-rapid (<20 minutes) detection of blood biomarkers that are highly specific for stroke subtypes, within a point-of-care device. In other words, the brain scan is replaced by a rapid blood test. Moreover, ""Fplus1"" will be low-cost and will reduce the need for specialized medical personnel, ultimately resulting in significant cost reduction for healthcare providers. Currently, there are no point-of-care devices on the market for the accurate and rapid diagnosis of brain stroke subtype. In the virtual absence of competition, our innovation has the potential to disrupt and revolutionise current diagnosis of brain stroke and significantly reduce stroke-induced death and disabilities. The collaborative network brought together within this project aims at bringing forward the ""Fplus1"" prototype towards full development of a product upon regulatory approval, ""Fplus1"" will initially be introduced in the United Kingdom market, with the final goal of expansion to the European and global market."

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