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In vitro diagnostic test for meningitis

SpeeDx Pty Ltd

Date Funded:
  • 29 August, 2014

Project summary

In vitro diagnostic test for detection of viruses and bacteria causing meningitis.

What is the issue?

SpeeDx is a medical diagnostic company focused on developing and commercialising clinical tests based on their patented, ground breaking DNA analytical technologies. Their innovative chemistries have a superior capacity to detect multiple clinically relevant genetic biomarkers in patient specimens. This provides a platform for developing a wide range of diagnostic tests based on detecting the genetic “bar-code” of disease-causing bacterium or viruses, or of human genes associated with cancers and other diseases.

What does the technology aim to do?

SpeeDx has created a successful business based on licensing its inventions which are protected by an extensive patent portfolio. Their licensees market and develop products for clinical research and human diagnostics. For example, Bioline Australia has been licensed to sell kits to hospitals and private pathology laboratories for assessing efficiency of genetic testing procedures. These kits are widely used within Australia and are now being launched internationally. Another licensee, Biocartis NV a European reagent and instrument manufacturer, anticipates launching a “companion diagnostic” using SpeeDx’ technology in early 2015. This product will allow oncologists to tailor therapy for patients by measuring features of their cancer. This information allows the prescription of the drug(s) most likely to be effective in treating the cancer. The product analyses more cancer mutations in a single reaction than competitors’ kits, and is more sensitive.

Capital generated from SpeeDx’ early licensing and co-development activities has funded internal development of a pipeline of diagnostic products, in line with the company’s longer term goals. The most advanced is a test to detect eight bacteria and viruses known to cause meningitis in children and adults. This will provide a tool to identify the pathogen and aid rapid diagnosis of this potentially life threatening disease. Other products are in earlier stage development. SpeeDx’ initial tests will run on instruments already in routine use in pathology laboratories so that adoption will not require investment in new equipment or additional staff training.

The company is also working on next generation “point of care” solutions, aimed at moving testing out of laboratories and to the patients’ location. The team sees this as an area where significant value can be added, particularly in critical care and/or rural settings where access to equipment may be limited.

SpeeDx has a strong track record of developing and commercialising novel technology applicable to medical diagnostics. Inspiration for invention comes from staff at all levels of this innovative, dedicated team including graduate students enrolled through the University of NSW. The company strives to make an impact on human health both locally and globally.

Company contact

Alison Todd, General Manager and Chief Scientific Officer