Another key partner in the GBP 4.4 million (Euro 5.2 million) project is QuantuMDx Group, a UK-based handheld diagnostics and DNA sequencing specialist. The prototype – a pioneering smart-phone device - aims to provide the same quality of results as a laboratory at a fraction of the time and cost, making it ideal for use in the field. It will allow doctors to prescribe personalised combinations of anti-malarial drugs to patients.
The project, supported with GBP 3.4 million (Euro 4 million) in funding from the EU's seventh research framework programme, was set up in response to increasing signs that the malaria parasite is mutating to resist the most powerful classes of anti-malaria drug combination therapies that include artemisinins as a component. The UK researchers worked with teams at the University of Tuebingen in Germany and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.