Paragraf, the first company to deliver a scalable approach to graphene electronic device manufacturing, has announced a plan to develop a new generation of graphene-based, in vitro diagnostic products that will give results within a few minutes.
The Cambridgeshire-based company is starting a two-year programme to develop a proof-of-concept combined procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP) test, on a single panel. This collaboration utilises a £550,000 Biomedical Catalyst grant award from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Paragraf is collaborating with the universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), on the development.
A clinical study of the combined PCT/CRP test will be delivered at MFT’s Diagnostics and Technology Accelerator (DiTA) in mid-2023. DiTA aims to address unmet needs, transform patient care and improve efficiency within the NHS, by facilitating the rapid translation and adoption of new innovations into the health and care system. The project is expected to be completed by the end of May 2024.
Paul Dark, Professor of Critical Care Medicine at The University of Manchester, and honorary NHS consultant at Salford Royal, part of Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, stated: “Nobel laureate scientists at The University of Manchester first isolated graphene in 2004 and so our city can claim to be the birthplace of the graphene industry. Today we are proud to announce that we will be working with Paragraf to develop this proof-of-concept graphene-based diagnostic.”
Professor Dark also leads the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Respiratory Non-fungal Infections Programme, which is focused on providing more accurate, rapid diagnosis for patients with severe respiratory infections. He said: “We expect to show that our proposed acute inflammatory marker test will have the capability to deliver accurate results for emergency patient care within a few minutes, from a small sample of blood. The accuracy of the test is envisaged to be at least comparable with hospital centralised laboratory based immunoassay tests which can take hours to provide results back to emergency services.”