MRSA tester

1 min read

A product that can perform a rapid test for serious diseases such as meningitis and MRSA is being developed by Atlas Genetics.

A product that can perform a rapid test for serious diseases such as meningitis, chlamydia and the hospital superbug MRSA is being developed by a new company Atlas Genetics, which is being launched using £500,000 funding and the expertise of academics at the University of Bath.

Current hospital tests take up to 72 hours, by which time the patients may have become seriously ill and may have spread the disease. The new product, however, will enable hospitals and eventually GPs to perform tests on the spot and make decisions about treatment within 20 minutes.

In use, the product will analyse a clinical sample of blood, urine or saliva and then indicate the presence, or absence, of DNA from the bacteria causing the disease.

The technology behind it has been developed over the last three years with a team of scientists from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, including Professor Laurie Peter, Dr. Toby Jenkins, Dr. Chris Frost and Dr. Stephen Flower.

The £500,000 already raised to fund the new venture came in part from the Sulis Seedcorn Fund, which provides support for the new businesses set up using research carried out by the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Southampton.

The Sulis institutional investment matched a £250,000 investment from a private investor who was introduced by the South West Angel and Investor Network (SWAIN), which brings together investors and companies seeking equity funding in the South West region.

The potential market for Atlas’s products is valued at over $3 billion (£1.7 billion) and is growing rapidly.