The next generation in biosensors through protein engineering
SenGenix, Inc. brings an experienced management team that is developing point-of-care diagnostic tests based on fluorescently responsive sensors. These tests will deliver fast, accurate, actionable patient data at a low cost. The Company will commercialize protein-engineering technologies developed at Duke University Medical Center to create a product platform that will be designed to perform a menu of tests at the point-of-care. The product roll-out strategy over the next five years includes a stand-alone Creatinine test and a Basic Metabolic Panel consisting of the eight most commonly ordered tests (Glucose, BUN, Creatinine, Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Chloride and Bicarbonate). These tests will provide clinicians with highly accurate results to assess patients at the location where care is required and within a time frame during which clinical decisions are most effective.
Duke spinout developing 'revolutionary' diagnostics device
[Originally published July 21, 2014. By Jason deBruyn, Triangle Business Journal]
SenGenix, a small company born in a Duke University lab, is developing a new way to allow health professionals to diagnose patients more quickly. It raised $2.5 million in a sign that investors believe they can build a better tool.
The company is led by Richard Surwit, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the former vice chairman for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University. He has more than 35 years in managing research and development and holds six U.S. patents. Included in the seven-member SenGenix team is Dr. Ralph Snyderman, the Duke University chancellor emeritus who formerly oversaw the Duke University Health System.
The group hopes to improve technology in point-of-care diagnostics. It’s a relatively new area of health care, but one that will likely see explosive growth in the very near future. As the name suggests, this health care technology allows doctors to more accurately diagnose patients at the point of care, meaning right there with the patient. For years, diagnostics have been done in a lab, which is typically in a different part of a hospital, or miles away from an independent doctor’s office. This, obviously, increases time from the point at which doctors draw blood from a patient to an actual diagnosis, or inconveniences patients by requiring them to travel to a lab to have blood drawn and tested.
The market for in vitro diagnostics – meaning tests done outside the body – is projected to grow to nearly $70 billion in the near future, though point-of-care diagnostics makes up only about 10 percent of that market. However, Surwit says the POC testing will increase at a faster clip than the industry as a whole, with some estimates pegging it at as high as 7 percent annual growth.
Surwit says the technology that SenGenix is developing has the potential to disrupt the market because of how it performs the test. Essentially, existing POC diagnostic technology is a miniaturized version of what is done in a lab, something that comes with high costs, pricing out smaller doctor offices and even leaving some major hospitals to pass because of price.