Developing a rapid test for diagnosing severe stroke
We have helped the UK based company POCKiT Diagnostics secure over £95,000 from SBRI Healthcare to develop their blood test for stroke.
Large vessel occlusion (LVO) strokes occur when a major artery in the brain is blocked. Every year, throughout the world, more than 4 million people suffer a sudden stroke due to LVO. These account for only 30% of total stroke cases but are responsible for most of the disability and deaths. In the UK, only 24 specialist regional hospitals can treat LVO. Therefore, most patients are first transported to a non-specialised hospital and need to be transferred to gain access to treatment. This leads to some patients receiving treatment late, or not at all, when compared to patients who live near to a regional centre.
POCKiT Diagnostics Ltd, a UK based company, have identified a set of measures, including two blood molecules, that can detect LVO. We are collaborating with Professor Chris Price and Dr Lisa Shaw, from the Newcastle University Stroke Research Group, and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC). Together we have helped POCKiT Diagnostics Ltd. secure over £95k from the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Healthcare programme. The funding will be used to develop the measures into a portable test that aims to identify LVO stroke within minutes. At the end of the project the company intend to evaluate their test in NHS hospitals before commercialisation and distribution. Potentially the test could then allow direct ambulance transfer of patients to regional hospitals for significantly faster specialist treatment, thereby reducing disability and costs.
The project is funded through a nationwide call by SBRI Healthcare in 2021 which attracted more than 79 applications. All nine funded projects involve pioneering innovations in the stroke field. However, our project is one of only two that is tackling pre-hospital diagnosis. The competition was developed in partnership with the Stroke Association, the AHSN Network and the Accelerated Access Collaborative.
Read more about the competition and the full list of funded projects.
Read more about collaboration with the Newcastle University Stroke Research Group.