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5 June, 2018 - 08:16 By Kate Sweeney

Lab21 in Cambridge launches glandular fever diagnostic

Lab21 Products in Cambridge has launched a new diagnostic for glandular fever. Dual-listed parent company Novacyt says it is the first in a series of new product launches in infectious diseases planned for 2018.

Lab21 is the protein diagnostics division of UK and Paris-listed Novacyt and glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis, or IM) is a prime market for the technology.

The company’s solution – PathFlow™ Mononucleosis – is described by the business as a qualitative lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of IM antibodies in the blood.

IM is frequently misdiagnosed as a bacterial infection, streptococcal pharyngitis, due to common clinical presentation of the diseases at onset.

In reality, IM is caused by the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and, as a virus, IM does not respond to antibiotic treatment.

Lab21 claims PathFlow™ Mononucleosis provides a rapid and effective differential diagnosis to patients with IM over streptococcal pharyngitis. It is also said to facilitate antibiotic stewardship by ensuring antibiotics are not offered to patients owing to a misdiagnosis and helping to address the global issue of antibiotic resistance.

IM is a global disease affecting both sexes equally, which is typically observed in 60-100 per 100,000 people. EBV antibodies are detected in 50 per cent of children by five years of age.

Although the market for IM testing is relatively small it is an important niche infectious disease market and it is expected that PathFow™ will give clinicians a quick and reliable product to help manage their patients.

The launch of PathFlow™ Mononucleosis is the first product in a series of lateral flow immunoassays that will form part of Novacyt’s growing catalogue of rapid infectious disease diagnostics and aid Lab21’s position as a leader in microbial diagnostic kits. Branded under the name PathFlow™, these products will utilise rapid lateral flow technology, with a focus on patient pathways and improving clinical outcomes.

Lab21 plans to launch a number of new products for common winter associated diseases in time for the winter peak in 2018.

Graham Mullis, group CEO of Novacyt, said: “Lab21 Products has significant experience of developing rapid and reliable diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases.

“The launch of PathFlow™ Mononucleosis, the first product in the PathFlow™ product family, demonstrates our continued commitment to the R & D-led growth of our overall growth strategy.

“This exciting new range of diagnostic test kits enhances our new product pipeline, with a number of additional launches expected during 2018, and strengthens our position in the rapidly growing infectious disease market.”

Lab21 is based in Winship Road, Milton in the growing north Cambridge business district.


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