Sysmex Astrego Wins £10m Longitude Prize for Revolutionary UTI Test

Sysmex Astrego, a Sweden-based in vitro diagnostic company, has been awarded the prestigious £10 million Longitude Prize for its groundbreaking PA-100 AST System, a rapid point-of-care test for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). This accolade underscores the critical need for innovative solutions in combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally.

The Longitude Prize, with a total value of £10 million, allocated £2 million to various innovators for technology refinement, with the final winner receiving £8 million. The PA-100 AST System, hailed as a game-changer in diagnostics, emerged victorious for its transformative approach to UTI testing, promising faster and more accurate results.

Dr Abdul Ghafur, an infectious diseases consultant at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai and a jury member for the prize, emphasized the significance of rapid diagnostics in combating the superbug crisis. He highlighted the importance of rational antibiotic use and the pivotal role of rapid diagnostic technologies in achieving this goal.

Antibiotic-resistant infections pose a significant threat globally, with nearly 1.3 million deaths attributed to them in 2019 alone. Without effective interventions, experts project that these infections could cause up to 10 million deaths annually by 2050, surpassing deaths from cancer.

The PA-100 AST System offers a revolutionary approach to UTI diagnosis, aiming to replace the lengthy 2–3-day lab testing process with results available in under 45 minutes. This transformative technology utilizes a phenotypic test to identify UTI-causing bacteria and determine antibiotic susceptibility, providing doctors with crucial information for targeted treatment decisions.

In countries like India, where UTIs are prevalent and contribute significantly to antibiotic resistance, rapid and accurate point-of-care tests are essential. Dr Ghafur noted the potential lifesaving impact of such tests, particularly in sepsis cases originating from UTIs, where rapid diagnosis can significantly improve patient outcomes.

The recognition of Sysmex Astrego’s PA-100 AST System underscores the urgent need for innovative solutions in healthcare, especially in addressing the growing challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance. This award serves as a beacon of hope for advancing medical technologies that can save lives and reduce the socio-economic burden of infectious diseases worldwide.

Sources By Agencies

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