NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular diagnostics firm QuantuMDx and its university partners will use funding from the UK's Biomedical Catalyst program to develop and integrate the company's lab-on-a-chip technology into a device for rapidly diagnosing and staging cancers.
The company said on Sunday that it and its partners at the University of Newcastle and the University of Sheffield will use the £1.4 million ($2.2 million) in new funding to support development of a low-cost, sample-to-result benchtop device through an effort called the Q-Cancer project.
The device, which the company said it plans to commercialize within three years, will enable histopathologists or lab technicians to perform multiplex genotyping and tumor staging and profiling in less than 20 minutes. The tool also will function with formalin-fixed or fresh tissue samples.
“Currently, tumor samples are sent away to a centralized sequencing laboratory, which can take several weeks to turnaround results, usually at a very high price which is not routinely affordable to many economies," QuantuMDx CEO Elaine Warburton said in a statement.
Warburton said the company's underlying technology can be used to break up a sample and extract DNA in less than five minutes, can carry out 25 to 30 cycle PCR in under 10 minutes, and detect hundreds of DNA targets in minutes.
The technology also "has the potential to lead to numerous follow-on applications in non-medical fields," she added.
The Biomedical Catalyst program includes Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board funding totaling £180 million.
QuantuMDx is based at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle, UK.