According to the World Health Organisation, tuberculosis has been the world’s leading cause of infectious mortality for more than 20 years. Every year, 10 million people contract tuberculosis, and of these, an estimated one third of new cases are undetected. These 3 million cases therefore do not receive the treatment that they need and are extremely contagious. They account for most of the 10 million infections and 1.5 million victims of the disease the following year.
The main reason for this lack of detection is the lack of testing suitable for developing countries, where 80% of cases are found. Current tests require infrastructure and medical personnel, which are scarce in these countries and too expensive.
In order to face this challenge, the development of new Point-of-Care diagnostic methods is essential. Portable, easy to use, fast, cost effective and reliable, these systems extend the screening capacity in remote areas while maintaining the advantage of validation of the result and care for the patient by a clinical pathologist.
Based on a patent held by Université de Bourgogne and INRA, EpiLAB is developing an integrated POCT (point of care terminal) solution that aims to offer this accessible, medically rigorous solution in everyday practice.
According to Clément Dubois and Maurice Lubetzki, co-founders of EpiLAB, “By joining the Virtual Incubator of the Cerba HealthCare Group, the European leader in medical diagnosis already widely established in Africa, EpiLAB will be able to speed up the development of its test and its large-scale use. The collaboration with Cerba HealthCare will allow us to finalise a product as close as possible to the expectations and needs of the field in order to promote its adoption by healthcare professionals and optimise its integration into new patient treatment pathway”.
“The partnership with EpiLAB marks a new stage in the success of our virtual incubator, our mechanism to support start-ups in open architecture that we created four years ago. The integration of Point of Care is a major issue in that it can improve healthcare pathways by making them increasingly relevant and effective for our patients. We also have several pilots underway in this field, both in Europe and in Africa”, added Jérôme Sallette, Chief Scientific Officer of Cerba HealthCare.