£50m Randox Centres of Excellence launched in Northern Ireland
A record £50 million investment which will deliver cutting-edge technologies to diagnose conditions like cancer, heart conditions and infectious diseases has been announced by Northern Ireland diagnostics company Randox Laboratories and Invest Northern Ireland.
This major project involves the establishment of three Centres of Excellence, enabling Randox R&D scientists to work collaboratively with colleagues from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. The centres are being officially launched today at the Randox Science Park. The ceremony will include a keynote address from Sir John Bell, who chaired the UK Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board.
Advanced diagnostics have been identified as key to delivering sustainable improvement to healthcare systems struggling to cope with increasing levels of chronic and preventable conditions. Having been focused in this field for over 36 years, Randox has a successful track record of developing new and innovative tests – examples include assessing those at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and genetic cardiac conditions, to promote and enable preventive treatment, and a new clinically-approved test to diagnose prediabetes.
Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, Dr Peter FitzGerald, who today launched the three Centres of Excellence, said;
“When almost a quarter of the deaths of people under 75 in the UK are considered preventable, we need to ask ourselves what can be done to improve healthcare outcomes. There is an undeniable case for radical change in the way healthcare is delivered, and sophisticated diagnostics will be at the fore of this revolution.
“Enabling earlier and more accurate diagnosis, to identify those at the earliest stages of illness, ideally before the onset of any symptoms, is a game-changer. Through early intervention we can restrict the development of chronic conditions and improve people’s lives. Our view of the future is one where people are empowered through earlier diagnosis to stay healthier for longer, and where healthcare systems are freed to deliver quality services to patients. Our announcement today demonstrates our continuing commitment in this field.
“We are grateful for the support offered by Invest NI and look forward to addressing these pressing healthcare needs.”
The Centres of Excellence will focus respectively on clinical diagnostics, engineering for biosciences and quality control. The project, which will strengthen collaborative partnerships between Randox, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, will accelerate the development of new technologies and drive healthcare improvements regionally, nationally and across the globe.
Of the £23m of support offered by Invest NI, £5m will go toward research projects at Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast.
Welcoming the investment, Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest NI said;
“Randox has a long history of investing heavily in innovation and R&D which has enabled it to create a globally competitive export driven business, capable of developing world leading research. This major investment will enable Randox to perform cutting-edge R&D which has the potential to revolutionise the global healthcare industry. This is excellent news for Northern Ireland’s life and health sciences sector. Northern Ireland is enjoying a growing international reputation as a region of expertise and knowledge in key areas such as Diagnostics, Precision Medicine and Advanced Manufacturing. The three new Centres of Excellence will help build on this and enhance Northern Ireland’s credibility, provide supply chain opportunities, and encourage knowledge transfer with our universities.”
Sir John Bell, commenting on the potential for the UK Life Sciences sector said;
“The life sciences industry represents one of the dominant economic sectors in the UK, and one with considerable potential for growth. However, whilst we have many natural strengths we cannot afford to be complacent. We must strive to optimise our science base, to encourage collaboration across academia, industry and the NHS, and grow our industrial capabilities. To do so we need to use our extensive data sets to best effect, and have in place a strong skills strategy. Success requires vision and drive. To that end I would like to congratulate Dr FitzGerald and Randox in the establishment of these three R&D collaborative Centres of Excellence – these are assets of national standing and will have a meaningful impact in enabling earlier and more accurate diagnosis, driving improvements in patient care, regionally, nationally and globally. They are leaders in this field, committed to innovation, and I wish them every success.”
Professor Jim McLaughlin, Director of Ulster University’s Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre, added;
“This very welcome investment enables pioneering Randox-inspired engineering capacity at Ulster University and reflects our research commitment to the life sciences industry. From nanotechnology to the development of systems that will enable large scale laboratory capability to be produced in the palm of your hand, the partnership brings shared industry and academic research excellence from the lab into the marketplace. Life sciences is a vital economic sector locally and this collaboration will advance diagnostics and ultimately enhance patient health outcomes.”
Dr David Jess, Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast School of Mathematics and Physics, added;
“The Randox Centres of Excellence will allow Queen’s University Belfast to continue to deliver cutting-edge and world leading research. We look forward to collaborating further with industry to develop pioneering research, focused on the needs of society.”
Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014 – 2020.
For further information please contact the Randox PR Team: phone 028 9442 2413 or email email@example.com
As the supplier of a pioneering diagnostic able to assist with differentiating between coronary pain and non-cardiac chest pain, Randox Laboratories has this week welcomed news about the importance of introducing new innovations which can significantly improve patient outcomes.
Prioritising people presenting with a heart attack over those with non-cardiac chest pain is one of the biggest challenges A&E doctors face – there are around 200,000 heart attacks each year in the UK, but around 1 million people come to A&E with chest pains. According to a team from King’s College London, as reported by the BBC, a faster, more accurate diagnosis of whether chest pain is caused by a heart attack would save the health service millions of pounds each year by sending well patients home and freeing up beds. Yet current testing methods do not efficiently differentiate between high-risk patients and the estimated 80% of patients who are not having a heart attack.
Randox’s revolutionary test for Heart-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Protein (H-FABP) however, when combined with current testing, is able to rule out a heart attack for patients who present at A&E with chest pain which is caused by other conditions such as respiratory issues, meaning they may not need emergency admission.
When measured at the time a patient presents to A&E with chest pain, H-FABP enables doctors to triage patients suffering with a heart attack more efficiently than before.
Dr. Gary Smyth, Medical Director at Randox Laboratories, hopes that more efficient testing will become widely available so that doctors can identify and prioritise patients at risk;
“Despite the best efforts of our NHS colleagues, EDs across the UK are under tremendous pressure. In many cases people are presenting with chest pain but aren’t suffering from a heart attack, and given that current cardiac tests are not as sensitive as clinicians would like, these patients are being admitted unnecessarily, taking up beds and valuable resources.
“It is imperative that newer, faster tests are adopted because fundamentally this means saving lives.”
H-FABP is released into the bloodstream within 30 minutes of a heart attack, whereas people who are currently admitted to hospital with chest pains may have to wait several hours for test results. Even the latest heart attack test to be adopted by the NHS, troponin, can take up to six hours to provide confirmation.
H-FABP, conversely, is released from the heart during the early stages of a heart attack and because it is so small, it can be detected when the heart cells are being damaged, rather than at the stage when troponin would usually be detected – when cell death has already occurred. The test can also be used to identify people who are at high risk of heart attack in the near future.
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“Research shows that patients who were troponin negative and therefore sent home from hospital, but who were positive for H-FABP, were at high risk of death – as high as a 20% chance of death that same year.
“If the H-FABP test was added to existing tests upon arrival at hospital, doctors could quickly and accurately rule out the 80% of chest pain patients who are not having a heart attack, allowing resources to be focused on those who are actually at high risk.”
Randox Laboratories is pleased to announce the opening of a state-of-the-art Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory today, the result of an innovative partnership with some of Northern Ireland’s leading business and education stakeholders.
The strategic collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University and Heartsine Technologies to develop the £7 million laboratory aims to transform the future of healthcare. The lab, which is based at Ulster University, will offer expertise and state of the art equipment to assist companies to develop prototypes for the biomedical, engineering, electronic device and aerospace sectors.
Welcoming the new lab, Dr Peter FitzGerald from Randox Laboratories said: “As one of the UK’s leading life sciences companies, we are delighted to be a partner in this innovative collaboration and to promote Northern Ireland as a global life sciences hub. We believe the greatest improvements to patients’ lives are possible through the continuous development of new technologies.
“This unique laboratory will facilitate that, as it will allow the rapid development of test prototype devices and also assist us to expand our unique range of high-calibre analyser systems.”
Tracey Meharg, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Business Solutions said: “The new Bio Devices Lab is a welcome and exciting development for Northern Ireland’s Health & Life Sciences sector. The facility will open up opportunities for stronger innovation by hosting a suite of equipment which will allow companies to quickly develop prototypes and medical devices for testing.
“It is a great example of how partnerships between government, industry and academia can enhance Northern Ireland as a knowledge economy and boost the credibility and visibility of Northern Ireland as a global leader in connected health.”
Prof Jim McLaughlin from Ulster University said: “Developing technology platforms to help translate our world class science and discovery to a device format as promptly as possible is essential for the very best design and performance.
“In healthcare technology, Ulster University leads the way in the development of new patient monitoring systems, stimulation devices, wearable solutions and diagnostic sensing.
“The lab will enable our researchers to develop the strong leadership and innovation skills so critical to future industry growth, working in collaboration with our industry partners.”
The total investment is £7.4m. Invest NI has offered assistance of £3.7m through a Grant for R&D, with Ulster University contributing £2.9m and £716,000 invested through industry collaborations with Randox Laboratories and Heartsine Technologies. Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.
Celebrating the opening of the Advanced Biomedical Engineering Laboratory are (from left) Professor Brian Meenan, Ulster University; Tracy Meharg, Invest NI; Professor Jim McLaughlin, Ulster University; and Stuart McGregor, Randox Laboratories
The Department of Clinical Biochemistry in the Royal Free Hospital in London has recently completed a major HIV/AIDS study into the cause of lipodystrophy, with the help of the Randox Evidence Investigator.
Lipodystrophy is a disorder in which the body’s distribution of fat undergoes serious changes. People with lipodystrophy can suffer from the build-up, the loss, or the redistribution of body fat and HIV/AIDS patients often suffer from the disorder.
The exact reason for its cause and progression is not completely understood, but it is thought that it can sometimes be triggered by an infection within the body.
The Department of Clinical Biochemistry in the Royal Free Hospital, alongside the Department of Pharmacology, The Institute of Biomedical Statistics and Infectious and Tropical Diseases, all at the University of Belgrade in Serbia, therefore launched a study to determine the relationship between levels of interleukins in HIV/AIDS patients and the presence or lack of lipodystrophy. Interleukins are produced by white blood cells to stimulate the immune response.
The Randox Evidence Investigator, a semi-automated benchtop analyser, which is capable of processing up to 2376 tests per hour, was used to measure interleukins IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10, in 66 HIV/AIDS patients. The results demonstrated that lower levels of IL-4 and IL-10 influenced lipodystrophy in those people.
Significantly lower levels of IL-4 and IL-10 were observed in patients suffering from lipodystrophy compared to those who did not suffer from lipodystrophy. The interleukin levels were measured using the Cytokine Array I that utilises Randox’s Biochip Array Technology and enabled all of the tests to be performed simultaneously on the patient sample.
These results show for the first time a significant correlation between IL-4 levels and lipodystrophy in HIV/AIDS patients, making the study a significant breakthrough in understanding the development of the condition and potential therapy.
You can find more information about the study on PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28189545
With a major focus in R&D, Randox scientists work in pioneering research into a range of common illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Over 16% of turnover is reinvested in R&D, and therefore, we have more new tests in development than any other diagnostic company.
Of our 1400-strong workforce, almost 400 are research scientists and engineers. Over the past year alone these highly-skilled specialists have developed a new test for Alzheimer’s disease, a bladder cancer test and a test with the ability to stratify Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patients, to determine patient response before chemotherapeutic treatment.
We were also the first company in the world to bring to market a test to detect ‘Flakka’, a dangerous and highly addictive new psychoactive substance.
Most recently we announced the official opening of our new research and testing laboratory, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services (RCLS), at the Randox Science Park in Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Research areas at the newly accredited laboratory include but are not exclusive to cancer, fertility, heart, inflammation, stroke and kidney health, both in-house and collaboratively with external organisations.
Current and past collaborations include an Acute Kidney Injury Study with the Royal Victoria Hospital, a Bladder Cancer Study in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and The Belfast Trust, a Stroke and Brain Injury study with Cambridge University, and key partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies.
Our R&D projects are known across the world for their ingenuity and relevance to current health issues.
Both our Bladder Cancer project and our Acute Myeloid Leukemia projects were awarded Innovate UK Research Awards, which enabled economic studies to be carried out by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative. These DECs will investigate the economic benefits of the new diagnostic tests for The National Health Service, and their role in the current patient care pathway.
Our revolutionary Alzheimer’s disease test was presented with a NACB / AACC Distinguished Abstract Award at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, in Philadelphia.
We have also recently established a collaborative agreement with Dr. Carl Novina at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. The goal of this collaboration is to develop therapeutic antibodies that will be incorporated into a platform technology that can reprogram patients’ immune systems to attack cancers.
Our research and development programme at Randox is continuously evolving to address the most pressing health issues. We are committed to improving health worldwide and as such will continue to focus our R&D efforts where they are most needed.
Please see below for some examples of our latest research and development news stories.
Following the success of the first ever Randox Health Grand National, global health diagnostics company Randox has today announced the official opening of its new central laboratory, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services (RCLS), at the recently acquired Randox Science Park in Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Situated at this new state of the art biohub, the RCLS accredited lab now houses Randox’s latest blood screening equipment – the pioneering Evolution machine. This new technology enables the labs to conduct a full range of niche and standard research testing, as well as current health testing for the company’s Randox Health division, which offers the world’s most comprehensive full body health analysis.
Research areas at the newly accredited laboratory include but are not exclusive to cancer, fertility, heart, inflammation, stroke and kidney health, both in-house and collaboratively with external organisations. Current and past collaborations include an Acute Kidney Injury Study with the Royal Victoria Hospital, a Bladder Cancer Study in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast and The Belfast Trust, a Stroke and Brain Injury study with Cambridge University, and key partnerships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies.
A staggering 222 clinical diagnostic tests are currently run routinely with the lab, with more tests pending accreditation in the coming months.
Ann-Marie Jennings, Laboratory Manager for Randox Clinical Laboratory Services, explained that the new facilities will allow RCLS to increase their output and enter new markets;
“Randox Clinical Laboratory Services has been operational for a number of years in our headquarters in Crumlin, near the Belfast International Airport. Now that we have moved to our new, purpose-built labs in the Randox Science Park, we have the ability to increase the output of both our health testing and our research testing. This involves expanding our team of experienced scientists, working towards further accreditations and furthermore setting up independent labs in Dubai, LA, Holywood and Liverpool in addition to our current labs in Antrim and London.”
Thanks to the new Randox Science Park facilities, the company will now be able to provide an increasingly wide range of testing services to Biotechnology and In Vitro Diagnostic companies, and will deliver to pharmaceutical companies the testing services required to support their drug development projects, in addition to the testing provided to research organisations,
With the ability to conduct an unrivalled range of health testing – haematology, biochemistry and immunoassay – all under one roof, the laboratory offers unparalleled support services to the dynamic and growing healthcare industry. With a greater understanding of human complexity, pharmaceutical companies are now focusing on developing safer drugs tailored to specific patient groups or sub-groups and the expansion plans in motion at RCLS will help these organisations bring new drugs to market faster.
“On our patented Randox Biochip Array Technology we can customize bespoke testing platforms based on the requirements of each drug development project, which can be a challenging process. From initial product development to clinical trial stages there can be a number of barriers and time constraints before drugs are successfully released to the public. We’re confident that our newly enhanced capabilities will benefit patients suffering from conditions in most need of research by offering pharmaceutical companies at the forefront of pioneering research, with the latest technological developments.”
For more information about RCLS please contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
Today, Randox Biosciences and Dana Farber Cancer Institute highlighted the milestones achieved during their joint partnership. The collaborative partnership was the focus of the Boston-Ireland Precision Medicine Seminar with partners the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Life Science Center (MLSC).
The City of Boston Office of Economic Development and the Massachusetts Life Science Center are collaborating with Randox Biosciences on an innovative event to discuss the Boston-Ireland linkage in the field of Precision Medicine. The event will build business and science relationships between leading life science organizations. The program will highlight Boston as a global life science hub and illustrate why global leaders like Randox are seeking to build business partnerships in the area.
“Dana-Farber is a world-renowned name in the field of oncology and it is great to be working on this exciting new technology which is being developed in the lab of Dr. Novina.” Marshall Dunlop of Randox Laboratories said.
In the last year, the clinical diagnostics and life sciences provider Randox Laboratories has established a collaborative agreement with Dr. Carl Novina at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. The goal of this collaboration is to develop therapeutic antibodies that will be incorporated into a platform technology that can reprogram patients’ immune systems to attack cancers.
“I am excited to work with Randox and use these important antibody technologies to help develop a novel cancer therapy that could potentially make a real difference for cancer patients.” said Dr. Carl Novina, Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
The Randox BioSciences and Dana Farber relationship highlights the close ties between Boston, Massachusetts and Ireland and provides another example of the strengths of Boston and Ireland in the life sciences sector. The life sciences industry continues to thrive all across Boston, from Longwood Medical Area – a world-famous medical campus with over 43,000 scientists, researchers, and staff including over 19,000 students – to the South Boston Waterfront District, the city’s newest cluster of high tech research, development, and manufacturing firms.
The City of Boston Chief of Economic Development John Barros said, “Mayor Martin J. Walsh is proud of Boston’s historic links with Ireland and the diverse economic bridges these links have created today. Within the life sciences alone, our researchers and businesses work together in new ways every day to shape how we treat, cure, and innovate together. By partnering with Randox and other leaders in the field, we continue to tackle global challenges together. Here at the City of Boston, we are committed to maintaining open doors as a global and welcoming city. These international partnerships will continue to play an active role in fostering opportunities for collaboration and growth.”
“Collaboration is the key ingredient that makes Massachusetts the best place in the world to innovate,” said Travis McCready, President & CEO of the MLSC. “It is great to see Randox collaborating with the leading scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, toward the development of improved, targeted treatments for cancer patients.”
For more information about the Precision Medicine Seminar in Boston please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
Randox are delighted to announce that at this week’s American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Scientific Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, in Philadelphia, we have been presented with a NACB / AACC Distinguished Abstract Award for a new Randox Biochip Blood Test to identify Alzheimer’s Disease risk.
Or more specifically, an award for our “Development of a New Biochip Array for ApoE4 Classification from Plasma Samples using Immunoassay Based Methods!”
Out of 1024 posters presented at the diagnostics conference, which is the largest of its kind globally, the poster for our new ApoE4 test, presented by our R&D Scientist Dr. Emma Harte, was one of only 29 to receive this prestigious award.
Emma is one of a team of Randox scientists at our Teoranta site in Dungloe, Co. Donegal, Ireland who carried out this pioneering Alzheimer’s research.
The ApoE4 poster demonstrated the work involved in the development of our ApoE4 blood test, performed on our patented Randox Biochip Array Technology. This blood test is an affordable method of identifying patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, and provides a faster alternative to standard testing which analyses a patient’s DNA. Standard molecular testing can be both time-consuming and expensive.
The Randox ApoE4 Biochip Array can conduct multiple diagnostic tests on a single blood sample, which has both cost and time-saving benefits, in addition to a rapid diagnosis for the patient.
The Randox Biochip analyses the Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), a gene which is recognised as one of the most significant genetic risk factors for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
There are three versions of the ApoE gene: E2, E3 and E4. The E4 version increases a person’s risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and it may also be associated with an earlier onset of memory loss.
Each parent passes on one ApoE gene to their child. Around 25% of the population inherit one copy of the ApoE4 gene. Inheriting two copies of the E4 variant increases a person’s disease risk by 10 times or more.
Our research into the identification of this gene was conducted in conjunction with our colleagues at the Medical University of Vienna, and verified the accuracy of the Randox Biochip Blood Test by analysing 384 samples and comparing the results to that of a standard molecular diagnostic test. Both tests provided the same accurate results, however the Biochip test results were available in a significantly faster 3 hours.
In combination with information on medical and family history, medication, and lifestyle, an individual’s ApoE4 status, as obtained from the Randox Biochip test, can go a long way in advising personalised medicine for the patient.
“This type of testing is important in our quest to understand and diagnose Alzheimer’s and empower patients to understand risks, consider medication, and even make early lifestyle changes,” said Emma, our R&D Scientist.
“Pairing this test with medical and family history for risk of Alzheimer’s disease has the real potential to advance personalised medicine. This fast, accurate testing will allow doctors and patients to make more informed choices earlier to potentially slow the possible progress of Alzheimer’s.”
Scientists at global healthcare company Randox, recently unveiled as the sponsors for The Grand National 2017 under the banner of Randox Health, today announced the company has been awarded an Innovate UK research award, for their pioneering work in the development of a diagnostic test for the detection of bladder cancer in haematuria patients.
The urine-based test is being developed in collaboration with The Belfast Trust and Queen’s University Belfast, and has been described by the project’s Lead Scientist at Randox, Dr Mark Ruddock, as the “holy grail” of diagnostic tests to stratify patients with haemeaturia (blood in the urine), who are at high risk of bladder cancer;
“Currently, all haematuria patients are ‘red-flagged’ as candidates for an invasive procedure called a cystoscopy (a camera inserted into the bladder), which is both embarrassing and uncomfortable for the patient. In comparison, the revolutionary Randox test is based on a simple urine sample so is non-invasive and much more comfortable for the patient.”
Considering less than 20% of patients with visible haematuria, and less than 5% with invisible haematuria are found to have bladder cancer, Dr Ruddock highlighted the urgent need for a test that can inform decisions for patients who present with haematuria;
“In the UK, over £33.5 million is spent each year managing patients with haematuria who are subsequently found not to have bladder cancer. As such, haematuria is a significant healthcare burden, which is only set to increase because of our aging population. Use of this new test will allow urology teams the opportunity to reduce the number of unnecessary cystoscopies carried out on patients identified as ‘low risk’, and stratify patients identified as ‘high risk’. This will result in significant healthcare savings, and an improvement in the waiting times for haematuria patients who do require diagnostic services ie. those patients deemed ‘high-risk’.”
Randox was successful in winning funding for phase one of the project, which has enabled an economic study to be carried out by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative Leeds who will investigate the economic benefits of the new diagnostic test for The National Health Service, and its role in the current patient care pathway. On successful completion of phase one, Randox will be eligible to apply for phase two funding.
Professor Peter Selby, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds, and Director of the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative Leeds, said:
“Bladder cancer is a very important disease which can be life threatening but also in many patients it can generate great anxiety, frequent hospital visits and many investigations. The new approach being developed by Randox has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of lives of many people at risk of bladder cancer.”
“Diagnostic Classifier for risk stratification of haematuria patients” was selected by Innovate UK in the “Stratified Medicine: connecting the UK infrastructure” competition.
Global healthcare company Randox, recently unveiled as the sponsors for the Grand National 2017 under the banner of Randox Health, today announced it has been awarded an Innovate UK Award, for their pioneering work in the development of a diagnostic test for Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients.
Randox’s award-winning test will enable the stratification of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patients, to determine patient response, before chemotherapeutic treatment. Currently, aggressive chemotherapy is given at diagnosis for the 2900 patients diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia every year in the UK, yet up to 40% of patients do not respond to this treatment due to the type of their cancer cells, and the patient’s genetic make-up.
The competition was therefore designed to promote the development of new diagnostic products and services for use in stratified medicine; in this case studying groups of leukemia patients to predict which treatments their cancers are likely to respond to.
Dr Cherith Reid, Project Manager for the AML Test at Randox, commented;
“As with any illness, it is important to select the best treatment and care for AML patients based on their diagnosis. The majority of AML patients are over 60 years old, and with the rise in the elderly population, increased prevalence of the disease is predicted. Currently, patients in this age range who are deemed fit for treatment are prescribed cytarabine chemotherapy, where the patient’s reaction to this drug is uninformed and is based on a trial-and-error approach. The information provided by our test will allow us to identify patients whose cancer is drug responsive, and treat them accordingly, possibly with lower doses of chemotherapy, reducing its severe side-effects. We want to assist clinicians in selecting the best treatment and care for patients as early as possible to improve patient outcomes.”
Phase one of the project includes an economic study to measure the health economic benefits for The National Health Service, conducted by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative London.
Professor George Hanna, NIHR DEC London Centre Director, commented;
“The stratification of patients within the NHS has been widely acknowledged as an important method for the efficient use of resources, as well as improving patient experience. New in vitro diagnostic tests that can classify patients in this way – such as the test being developed at Randox for Leukemia patients – personalise patient care to better inform treatment decisions which will hopefully lead to improved health outcomes and fewer side effects. This is particularly important for Leukemia patients who face the severe side effects of chemotherapy. Through the collaboration of Randox Laboratories and the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London, we have a unique opportunity to evaluate the adoption pathway of the new Randox AML technology to translate it to the bedside where it can best benefit patient care.”
“Determining Acute Myeloid Leukemia patient response to chemotherapeutic treatment” was selected by Innovate UK in the “Stratified Medicine: connecting the UK infrastructure” competition.
Pictured: Dr Cherith Reid