Biotech firm launches low cost tuberculosis test in India

BIOTECH company Epistem Holdings has announced the commercial launch of its Genedrive tuberculosis (TB) and antibiotic resistance test in India.

With its Indian commercialisation partner, Xcelris Labs, the company hopes to target Genedrive at private clinical labs in the country, providing a rapid point-of-care testing service for TB.

Previously, this diagnostics technique has only been available through large hospital laboratories in the country.

Epistem hopes that the low system cost, ease of use and robustness will lead to wide adoption and availability of the technology in India.

After parting company with chief executive Matthew Walls last August, Epistem saw income dip in a challenging year.

Epistem’s new chief executive, David Budd, said: “Full commercial TB launch in India is an important next step in the commercialisation of Genedrive. For the majority of patients who cannot access large reference hospitals and clinics, TB testing in India currently relies on conventional technologies such as microscopy and cell culture to detect infection and determine the most appropriate treatment.

“Genedrive offers the ability to detect infection and antibiotic resistance in hours rather than days with important implications for more immediate and effective treatment, and the prevention of spread of infection. The target pricing of Genedrive and TB test cartridges makes our product an attractive commercial and clinical alternative to traditional diagnostic techniques.”