NHSEI SBRI Healthcare grant for Psyros’ rapid, ultra-sensitive test for heart attack marker
Firm raising £2.5m seed round to support further development of prototype
Discovery Park, Sandwich, UK, February 24 2021 – Psyros Diagnostics, which is developing ultra-sensitive, ultra-fast, point of care diagnostics based on single molecule counting, has been awarded a £99,400 grant by NHSEI SBRI Healthcare1 to advance their novel test for the heart attack marker troponin. Psyros’ test has significant potential to overcome the challenges associated with current troponin testing regimes in patients with suspected heart attacks, such as insufficient speed and poor logistics. The company’s proprietary technology has promise in other indications where rapid and sensitive diagnosis is crucial, such as traumatic brain injury and infectious disease, and is raising a £2.5m seed round to develop the technology further.
Under the NHSEI SBRI Urgent and Emergency Care grant, Psyros is producing a prototype of its troponin diagnostic test system, to be evaluated in further studies. They will also research patients’ and doctors’ views of the current system of troponin testing, and the potential of rapid, accurate bedside tests like the one Psyros is developing. This will help define how their product will fit into treatment routines and care pathways. Partners in the project include King’s College London and St Thomas’ Hospital for cardiology expertise, the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network and Aquarius Population Health.
Since it is released into the blood by damaged heart muscle, testing for troponin helps to assess which of the 1m chest pain patients admitted to hospital each year are actually having a heart attack (around 20%). Based on single molecule counting, Psyros’ troponin diagnostic has the potential to be faster and more accurate than current methodologies. Also being designed for use at the bedside or before admission, it is expected to revolutionise the standard testing pathway.
Current troponin tests in hospital are inconclusive 50% of the time, meaning a second test an hour later for those patients. In busy hospitals with central laboratories located away from the accident and emergency department, it can be over an hour before the first test result is available, further delaying the delivery of appropriate care to the patient and increasing healthcare costs.
Dr Aileen McGettrick, Co-Founder & Director, Psyros Diagnostics, said, ‘The SBRI Healthcare award will help us achieve some important milestones in the development of our troponin diagnostic, and we are very pleased to have received it. It provides a significant validation of our ultra-sensitive clinical diagnostic platform technology, which has potential in a range of other indications where ultra-fast and ultra-sensitive diagnosis is needed. Psyros are currently raising funds to develop the technology further, including production of commercial prototypes.’