Rapid, robust & scalable platform technology for fully automated reference laboratory grade Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based diagnostics regardless of global setting.
The RANGER consortium brings together clinical and technical to deliver a system capable of diagnosing influenza accurately and quickly, enabling healthcare professionals and outbreak specialists to make timely and informed decisions.
The system will be fully automated and capable of providing a laboratory standard result from a raw sample. Prototype instruments, cartridges and assays will be developed and validated for use as human in vitro diagnostics for influenza diagnosis and surveillance, offering:
Influenza is one of today's biggest threats to the world's socio-economic health. Seasonal, or epidemic influenza, has a global incidence of 10-20%, is responsible for between 3 and 5 million cases of severe illness every year and causes 500,000 deaths annually. Total direct and indirect costs of a severe epidemic are estimated at over $12 billion in the US alone.[+] Read More
A global pandemic has been projected to infect 25-35% of the global population and conservative estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have placed the likely death toll at 2-7.4 million people and the cost at over $800 billion. The avian influenza strain, H5N1, has such pandemic potential. In December 2003, infections in people exposed to sick birds were identified and since then, according to the WHO, there have been 258 human cases of Avian Influenza, with a mortality rate exceeding 50%. At this time H5N1 does not easily infect or spread among humans. However, a pandemic could begin should H5N1 evolve to a form as contagious as normal influenza.
Although vaccination is effective against the spread of infection, current global vaccination coverage is less than 5% and viral mutation requires constant review of vaccine efficacy. Consequently, the most effective means of controlling the spread of influenza is early diagnosis followed by containment and antiviral therapy. However, currently available diagnostics technologies are not suitable for widespread use in developed & developing countries. Rapid antigen-based tests are insensitive and are not designed to specifically identify H5N1. Existing PCR based techniques and microarrays are slow, expensive and require specific laboratory equipment and expertise. Consequently there is an immediate need for a rapid, robust, sensitive and cost effective point-of-care diagnostic for the identification of influenza strains and subtypes which requires minimal expertise to operate & no specialist laboratory equipment.
The RANGER consortium brings together experts in the fields of: influenza diagnosis and surveillance; sample preparation; PCR; in vitro diagnostics system development; engineering, materials science, freeze drying; surveillance monitoring software.
Together we aim to deliver a system capable of diagnosing influenza accurately and quickly, enabling healthcare professionals and outbreak specialists to make timely and informed decisions. The system will be fully automated and capable of providing a laboratory standard result from a raw sample. It will be validated for use in both developed and developing territories, with evaluations led by the world renowned clinical investigators in Thailand and the UK.
Prototype instruments, cartridges and assays validated for use as human in vitro diagnostics for influenza diagnosis and surveillance.