£1m moneypot to develop POC testing for STIs and sepsis

25-Jan-2012

TSB provides cash to develop clinical trial evaluation tools

Tools to assess the cost and benefits of point-of-care STI and sepsis testing are being created following the announcement of a £1m moneypot from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

The cash will be divided between three organisations – Diagnostics for the Real World (Europe), the Health Protection Agency (HPA), and Integrated Medicines.

It will enable them to develop new and improved health economics tools or products that will assist and improve the design and evaluation of diagnostic clinical trials for infectious agents.

The HPA will use its share to develop a tool to assess the impact of point-of-care testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

A spokesman explained: “We will develop a user-friendly tool that will enable decision-makers to explore the costs, benefits and uncertainties of introducing point-of-care (POC) testing for chlamydia infection in different clinical settings and target populations. This tool will allow comparison of the costs and benefits of the status-quo of current laboratory assays and existing clinical pathways with a clinical pathway built around novel POC diagnostics, using a dynamic transmission model of chlamydia infection.”

Still exploring improvements in STI testing, Diagnostics for the Real World (Europe) will use its grant to develop technology that will assess the costs and benefits of the introduction of POC chlamydia tests.

Spokesman, Dr Helen Lee, said: “The objective of this project is to develop a new cost effectiveness tool that can be used by health commissioners and providers to assess the costs and benefits of introducing the POC Chlamydia Rapid Test. The new tool will overcome limitations of existing models and provide empirical data to fill evidence gaps identified by the NHS Health Technology Assessment of the effectiveness and cost- effectiveness of POC testing for chlamydia.”

Through these contracts we look forward to seeing the development of new and improved health economics modelling tools that will help companies and organisations design and evaluate diagnostic clinical trials

Finally, Integrated Medicines will receive its share of the money to help find a way of understanding the costs and outcomes associated with introducing a point-of-care (POC) diagnostic test – the ‘BRAHMS’ procalcitonin test – in the management of patients presenting with sepsis. The project will lead to greater connectivity between hospital A&E departments and intensive care units and provide the latter with better guidance on appropriate therapeutic interventions.

The funding has been provided in partnership with the Department of Health and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Iain Gray, chief executive of the TSB, said: “Supporting innovation in healthcare is a priority for us. Through these contracts we look forward to seeing the development of new and improved health economics modelling tools that will help companies and organisations design and evaluate diagnostic clinical trials.

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“We hope these new tools will lead to better adoption of diagnostic products by providing assessors and decision-makers with high-quality data on their impact.”

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