Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Sepset Biosciences to Develop Sepsis Biomarker Blood Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), a Canadian national drug development and commercialization center, said today that it has spun out a company, Sepset Biosciences, that's developing a rapid diagnostic blood test with an objective to provide early, targeted treatment for sepsis.

The blood test, which is founded on work led by University of British Columbia researcher Robert Hancock, detects a unique biomarker signature based on the body's immune response, rather than the presence of a pathogen.

"The results of initial clinical studies show this to be a very promising approach, so we are now in the process of advancing to larger multi-center, multi-country trials," Hancock said in a statement.

Sepsis, the body's severe inflammatory response to an infection, is most commonly caused by bacteria, but it can also be caused by fungi, viruses, or parasites. Current methods to diagnose it may take more than 24 hours after a patient enters the emergency ward, according to the CDRD — by then the patient may already be well on their way towards tissue damage, organ failure, and death. For every three-hour delay in diagnosis, the rate of mortality and morbidity grows by almost 25 percent.

A number of companies including Roche, BioMérieux, T2Biosystems, OpGen, and Accelerate Diagnostics are either developing or already have advanced sepsis detection systems.

In addition to benefiting patients, accurate, early detection can result in significant savings in healthcare costs because of the reduction in the length of the hospital and intensive care stay. Spending on sepsis accounts for more than $20 billion annually in healthcare costs in the US alone, according to CDRD. It contributes to more than 1.6 million hospital visits annually in the US and is the most common cause of death in the intensive care unit. The medical condition leads to the hospitalization of more than 18 million people around the world every year, according to CDRD, and around one in three of these patients will die due to complications related to severe sepsis. 

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.