NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – British molecular diagnostics company QuantuMDx has closed an $8.4 million investment round to further the development of a device for point-of-care testing, the firm said today.
Private investors and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne contributed to the round, which will support the optimization of Q-POC, QuantuMDx's handheld DNA sequencing and genotyping device, and allow the company to flesh out its R&D team and advisory board.
QuatntuMDx CEO Elaine Warburton said in a statement that the six-year-old, Newcastle-based firm plans to unveil a prototype of the device later this year. "[W]e anticipate much interest from life ccience and pharma companies seeking a low-cost, high-quality POC platform for diagnostics and to support drug development," she said.
QuantuMDx moved from basic research to an engineering phase last year, and is now beginning to test its alpha prototype. The device performs sample preparation, extraction, amplification, and uses a nanowire biosensor to detect DNA sequences of interest in less than 15 minutes, according to the firm.
The company said that field trials will begin early next year for Q-POC's first assays: a test for malaria subtyping and drug-resistance testing developed in partnership with NGOs and hospitals in several African countries, and a companion diagnostic for warfarin within the UK's National Health Service. The firm hopes to launch both assays later in 2015.