ReadyGo Diagnostics Ltd. (ReadyGo), a specialist in isothermal molecular diagnostics, today announced that it has entered into a second assay development agreement with Gemina Laboratories Ltd. (Gemina) (CSE: GLAB) (FRA:8I7), a Canadian company that specialises in fast, affordable and accurate diagnostic tests.
ReadyGo Diagnostics will develop, optimize and validate an assay for the detection of the dengue virus (DENV) for Gemina to run on ReadyGo’s off-grid isothermal diagnostic platform, Geo. The Geo platform provides rapid results in any location in under 30 minutes and is expected to play a crucial role in the detection of DENV within near-patient settings which would greatly improve patient management and outcome.
Dengue fever is a viral infection caused by DENV. It is a mosquito-borne, single positive-stranded RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus. Four serotypes of the virus have been found, all of which can cause the full spectrum of disease. ReadyGo’s assay will detect all four serotypes.
Almost half of the world’s population, about 4 billion people, live in areas with a risk of dengue. DENV is a significant public health concern in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including parts of Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Each year, up to 400 million people are infected by a dengue virus. Approximately 100 million people get sick from infection, and 40,000 die from severe dengue.
The symptoms of dengue fever can vary from mild to severe and typically appear 4 to 7 days after the mosquito bite. Common symptoms include high fever, severe headache (usually behind the eyes), joint and muscle pain, rash, and mild bleeding (such as nose or gum bleeding). In more severe cases, dengue can progress to a severe form known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS), which can be life-threatening.
There is a huge need to test patients outside of the laboratory setting in the village or rural areas of low resource settings. Often these communities cannot travel for central testing so rely on outreach services for sample collection which then presents significant issue of logistics to transport using cold chain to centralised laboratories.
ReadyGo’s isothermal PCR test will diagnose patients within 30 minutes in decentralised settings. This would allow deployment outside of the laboratory and early diagnosis allows for timely medical intervention and appropriate management to prevent complications associated with severe dengue.
Severe dengue is a medical emergency. It requires immediate medical care at a clinic or hospital.
Early detection and prompt medical care can help prevent complications and reduce the risk of severe dengue.
Brian Firth, CEO of Gemina, commented: “I’m delighted about our partnership with ReadyGo Diagnostics, which extends beyond our TB test to include the creation of a second test on the Geo platform. At Gemina Labs, our mission is to develop enhanced diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. Our primary focus lies in creating efficient tests that can be utilized at the forefront of patient care, whether that involves field settings, home environments, or primary clinics. This is why ReadyGo’s platform, Geo, has left a strong impression on us – particularly in its potential applications for diagnosing and managing dengue fever. I hold a strong belief that through our partnership with ReadyGo, we’ll have the capability to produce a rapid and precise solution for detecting DENV, ultimately leading to tangible improvements in patient outcomes.”
Ben Cobb, CEO of ReadyGo Diagnostics, added: “We are delighted to further our collaboration with Gemina to develop a sensitive and quick DENV diagnostic assay. There is a pressing need for a decentralised test, particularly in resource-constrained areas. ReadyGo has some really innovative technology and we are fully dedicated to becoming the preferred development partner for companies striving to design straightforward and economical molecular diagnostic solutions across various contexts.”
Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.