Astrotech (NASDAQ: ASTC) subsidiary 1st Detect, in collaboration with The University of Texas Health Science Center, now called UT Health San Antonio, announced today positive preliminary results in pre-clinical trials for the BreathDetect 1000 – a rapid bedside breathalyzer for detecting bacterial infections in the respiratory tract, such as hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP).
Working with cystic fibrosis patients at a University Health System clinic in San Antonio, Dr. Edward G Brooks, MD and his team are targeting two of the most fatal bacterial strains found in HAP. Currently in the verification and validation phase after conducting successful bacterial culture headspace trials, the first human trials were initiated on May 22, 2017.
s“1st Detect’s BreathDetect 1000 has successfully identified several unique volatile organic compound (VOC) metabolites from Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas bacteria in human breath samples. The BreathDetect 1000 could significantly enhance the physician’s ability to treat patients correctly. By sampling directly from the lungs, the BreathDetect 1000 would speed up the current diagnosis process substantially – which, in turn, could reduce the misdiagnosis of diseases and subsequent antibiotic resistance; decrease the length of hospital stays; and most importantly, save lives, said Dr. Brook
With current diagnosis methods, physicians wait up to three days for the lab to identify the organism, and another two days to receive the antibiotic resistance profile. In the meantime, they prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics – leading to the urgent public health threat of antibiotic resistance and contributing to the re-emergence of deadly diseases such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Thomas B. Pickens III, CEO of 1st Detect and parent company Astrotech added, “In this early stage of product validation, we’re extremely encouraged by the BreathDetect 1000’s high level of specificity and the progress UT Health San Antonio has made acquiring and validating human breath samples. Additional human subject testing and development is underway.”