The global crisis of antimicrobial resistance is never far from the headlines. As part of World Amicrobial Awareness Week, we’ve been discussing the dangers and importantly the work being done to combat this growing threat.
There’s a very simple reason why we must all do what we can to tackle AMR. This year it’s thought 700,000 people died from drug resistant illnesses such as bacterial infections, malaria, HIV/Aids or tuberculosis. Experts warn that by 2050, this figure will rise to 10million.
Randox’s aim is to revolutionise global healthcare and we are committed to combating the threat of antibiotic resistance. We have a number of tests on the market that can help the fight against AMR, strengthen consumer confidence and ensure quality and safety for a number of different industries. So to round off this week, we spoke to two of our experts at Randox: Business Development Manager, Dr Mary Jo Kurth, and Molecular Diagnostics Manager, Dr Martin Crockard.
70% GP’s have been reported to prescribe antibiotics when they don’t know whether the infection is caused by the virus or bacteria.
At the frontline of the battle to curb AMR are the GPs but they’re not able to access the latest technology which can help them. Dr Mary Jo Kurth said, “In the current GP setting, diagnostic testing to determine whether a respiratory infection is bacterial or viral is unavailable, and therefore doctors often have to guess – or feel pressurised into prescribing antibiotics because patients demand it. However antibiotics only work to treat bacterial infections and are useless in treating infections that are caused by viruses.
“The consequences are severe. Medical procedures like organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy need antibiotics to prevent and treat the bacterial infections that can be caused by the treatment. Without effective antibiotics, even routine operations could become high risk procedures if serious infections can’t be treated. The hard won victories against infectious diseases of the last fifty years will be jeopardized.”
Our Biosciences division have developed a test that can rapidly detect and identify the cause of 22 respiratory infections, in both the upper and lower respiratory tract, and therefore subsequently determine if an antibiotic is required as well as then identify the most effective antibiotic to take. Additionally our Confidante kit – the world’s first over-the-counter home sexual health test – can detect ten of the most common STIs with one patient sample and deliver accurate and reliable results securely and discreetly within one week. This takes the guesswork out of antibiotic prescription and could go a long way in fighting the antibiotic resistance crisis.
Dr Martin Crockard said, “Identifying the specific cause of illnesses provides opportunities to tailor treatment, reducing antibiotic misuse. Not all infections respond to antibiotics, however a multiplex approach which identifies bacterial, viral or fungal pathogens encourages improved clinical decision-making, refining treatment, leading to enhanced patient care.
“The molecular group here at Randox are developing a range of multiplex infection detection arrays to identify specific infection agents, allowing more appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient care and reduce the onset of antibiotic resistance.”
In addition to tackling AMR via medical settings, there is work that can be done to deal with it in our food. Randox Food Diagnostics offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic solutions to allow for the detection and quantification of antibiotic residues within animal and food products. With validation across a range of matrices Randox Food allows producers to ensure their products are free from antibiotic residues.
As consumer awareness develops so does the need for antibiotic screening within agriculture and food production. Guaranteeing an antibiotic-free product strengthens consumer confidence and ensures food integrity on a global scale. Randox Food offers the Evidence Investigator matched with biochip array technology to provide the end user with fast, reliable results to ensure antibiotic free produce.
The UK Government recently commissioned a two year review into the crisis. Led by Lord Jim O’Neill, the final report outlined a new system of ‘market entry rewards’ worth $1.6 billion to the successful developer of a new antibiotic, which meets a prospectively-defined criteria of ‘unmet need’. Developers of alternative therapies aimed at tackling areas where there is unmet need due to rising AMR would also be eligible for these rewards. Such rewards would be paid after a successful product comes to market.
Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies said, “Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics. That’s why governments and organisations across the world, including the World Health Organization and G8, need to take this seriously.
“This is not just about government action. We need to encourage more innovation in the development of antibiotics – over the past two decades there has been a discovery void around antibiotics, meaning diseases have evolved faster than the drugs to treat them.”
AMR will not go away on its own. It requires complex and comprehensive action across many sectors.
If you are interested in finding out more information, please visit randox.com
You may have read in the news this week that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to invest $3 billion over the next decade to help further and advance medical research. Investments will go towards a research facility, named the Biohub, which will focus on developing new tools to research, understand and treat diseases, and of particular interest to us here at Randox, on creating a chip to diagnose disease.
Here at Randox we fully support this drive to further research that is devoted to revolutionising healthcare. We commit up to 16% of turnover to research and development each year and currently over 20% of the world’s major laboratories are using Randox products.
In particular, we invested £220 million into the development of our Biochip Array Technology (BAT). The Randox biochip has revolutionised the diagnostics industry by facilitating the detection of a wide range of markers of disease from a single undivided sample. This not only enhances patient diagnosis but reduces the amount of time spent on individual tests and associated laboratory costs.
Our expertise, highly specialised scientists and world-class ISO accredited manufacturing facilities enables early, accurate, informed clinical decisions in the areas of veterinary testing, molecular research and diagnostics, drug development, food safety and forensic and clinical toxicology.
Our Randox Health clinics use our Biochip to allow people to avail of the complete portfolio of Randox routine and novel tests to empower their health decisions. This new and exciting service provides personalised and preventive health profiling for each individual.
Speaking about the biochip Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox said,
“Many years of development and the expertise of our highly qualified scientists have gone into the creation of Randox Biochip Array Technology. This scientific development will facilitate the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single undivided sample. This approach both proteomic and genomic enables an enhanced patient diagnosis, optimum efficiency and consolidation of cost. Our arrays are suitable for use in a wide range of settings including clinical and research laboratories, biopharmaceutical organisations, forensic and clinical toxicology, hospital laboratories, food testing and veterinary laboratories.”
We are delighted that Chan Zuckerberg’s interest in this area brings to the forefront the importance of improving healthcare through innovative diagnostics. It is clear that Randox and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative share a common goal to revolutionise healthcare worldwide and we believe that the Randox Biochip can play an important role in realising this vision.
For further information please contact our Randox Comms Team on 028 9445 1016 or email email@example.com
- £15 million invested in R&D 2014-15
- Funding allows creation of bold new division – Randox Biosciences
- Job creation – 30 new staff
- International focus – Japan, USA, Europe; key markets
Global biotechnology firm Randox, is unveiling its latest enterprise, ‘Randox Biosciences’. The new specialist division within Randox, is dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, drug development and companion diagnostics. Randox Biosciences is the result of the merger and expansion of four existing business units; Life Sciences, Pharma Sciences, Research and Molecular.
15 new jobs have already been created at the unit based in Crumlin, with that figure expected to double by the end of the year. A core team of over 300 R&D scientists and engineers are employed at the Randox Biosciences hub, specialising in supplying products and services to universities, genetics labs and the pharmaceutical industry across the globe.
Exports and international collaborations will be key drivers of growth for the new division, as Patrick Henry, Head of Randox Biosciences explains:
“Our focus is on targeting the thriving personalised medicine market which at its heart relies on ‘precision medicine’ enabling technology and tests to tailor healthcare solutions to the right patients at the right time. Led by our dedicated research scientists, we offer advanced products, for use in academic research enabling new scientific discoveries and in pharma companies for their drug development and clinical trials.
“A particularly exciting area for Randox Biosciences is in Companion Diagnostic development. This is where new diagnostic tests are developed and approved alongside new drugs improving their efficacy and safety, whilst helping to reduce costs for healthcare networks by avoiding unnecessary or ineffective drug prescriptions.
“Precision medicine is next generation health care, with huge potential for Randox in terms of exports and collaborations. We are already creating traction in the US and Europe and have our sights set on Japan, in which we expect to have a solid presence by Autumn.”
Funding for the Randox Biosciences division is as a result of the Randox group’s commitment to innovative R&D says Randox MD, Dr Peter FitzGerald:
“Research and development is fundamental to the creation of new products and we recognise its importance. In 2014-15 we invested £15million into R&D, our most significant spend on this core function to date. This investment has allowed us to establish the Randox Biosciences division, which will act as a road map for our R&D, taking our tests and technology to new markets across the world.
“At the moment, Randox Biosciences is engaged in world-leading research into Alzheimer’s disease and cancer and is involved in more than 35 collaborations with internationally renowned academic research centres. The Randox Biosciences team is truly at the frontier of health care discovery, making our vision a reality.”