Our mission is to increase access to diagnostics in lower income and lower-middle-income countries (LIC's and LMIC's) through the transfer of technology and sustainable local production
The scarcity of manufacturing industries in sub-Saharan Africa in several areas including diagnostics and vaccines has left the majority of the continent dependent on external supply chains for its healthcare needs.
Philanthropic initiatives to help mitigate the problem of access and affordability are a temporary solution and not sustainable for the long term.There are also tensions between affordability, access and sustained local production, where imported tests may have a lower economic cost due to donations or special procurement arrangements, discouraging local investments in the development and manufacture of such products. The failure of traditional market-led business models to provide diagnostic tools for developing countries has led to the recognition that alternative means of production should be considered.
Several kinds of diagnostic technologies already exist that could be and are in use in resource-limited settings. It's our belief that lateral flow immuno-assays are best suited for such environments. Prototype test development will be based on this model. We will be making a few simple but innovative modifications that should depress the cost of materials and reagents and improve the versatility of the test in a unique way. Conventional lateral flow assays utilize antibodies as molecular probes/biosensors. We would be replacing these with aptamers.
The use of aptamers in such assays can confer significant cost-effective benefits in manufacturing overhead, improve test performance and also increase shelf-life of the finished product across a much broader range of temperatures.
The successful and timely implementation of this project would be dependent on establishing partnerships with key stakeholders involved in policy, research, healthcare delivery, as well as an influential political champion who is closely aligned with our goals and objectives. They would advise us on networking, strategy and ideas for new product development.
We believe in using an integrated approach to
solving this problem combining the best-suited technology and a customized manufacturing plan reflecting the socio-economic environment. Our solution will help circumvent the impediments created by current traditional market-led business models and also fulfill the ASSURED criteria for point of care tests for infectious disease.
We also have a plan to address the issue of non-adherence to test results by incorporating a mobile phone based SMS text messaging service as part of the care package. The service would provide test taker's assistance on how to interpret the results correctly and additional information on how to proceed to the next steps for treatment and follow-up care.This could also provide useful data for analytics.