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Omron Healthcare Takes Equity Stake in Atonomics to Advance Dx Products


Danish clinical diagnostic developer Atonomics said this week that it has entered into an agreement with Omron Healthcare to advance development of Atonomics' point-of-care device for diagnostic testing of lifestyle diseases.

As part of the transaction, Omron Healthcare is taking a minority equity stake in Atonomics.

Based in Copenhagen, Atonomics is developing three products under the moniker Atolyzer, all of which are intended to "deliver central laboratory performance in a near-patient environment," according to the company.

The first product, Atolyzer Consumer, combines immune-based and clinical chemistries to detect analytes such as hemoglobin A1C and lipid molecules for the purpose of diagnosing diabetes. Atonomics is developing this product for near-patient settings such as pharmacies.

It is this product that Omron's investment will help immediately advance. Omron is "a leader in blood pressure devices that you can buy in the pharmacy," Atonomics CEO Thomas Warthoe told PCR Insider. "Basically they want to put our consumer device for A1C next to their blood pressure device."

Atonomics' second product, Atolyzer PoC, also combines immune-based and clinical chemistries for cardiac biomarkers such as troponin to aid in the diagnosis of heart attacks. The company is partnering with Beckman Coulter on this application.

Finally, Atonomics is also developing Atolyzer Gene, which will use a proprietary nested PCR technology called IsoPCR. In this technique, a single multiplex preamplification PCR is followed by detection of specific targets using isothermal amplification.

Late last year, Atonomics published a paper detailing this technology and demonstrating its ability to simultaneously detect multiple yeast and bacterial nucleic acid targets more quickly and with a lower limit of detection than standard nested PCR.

Warthoe said this product will be similar to the FilmArray platform from BioFire Diagnostics — now a subsidiary of BioMérieux — in that it can detect multiple gene targets in a single run.

"We can detect up to 50 genes, DNA or RNA, in one cartridge, and it could be [for] infectious diseases, gene signatures, [and] things like that," Warthoe said.

The company is initially working on a cardiac diagnostic panel for that platform, Warthoe said, but noted that "it's a much more heavy investment" than the Atolyzer Consumer or PoC products and as such will likely be commercialized last.

Warthoe said that Atonomics is currently seeking partners to advance the Atolyzer Gene product to the market.