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1 May, 2020 - 10:09 By Kate Sweeney

TTP and ODx combating urinary tract infections

Cambridge UK cluster product design hothouse TTP is working alongside a Scottish business on technology to assess urinary tract infections.

TTP is working with Inverness-based ODx Innovations to bring ODx’ system to market through TTP’s Desktop Biology service.

The ODx system offers the potential to revolutionise the turnaround time for the assessment of suspected UTIs, reduce the use of antibiotics and provider faster access to optimal antimicrobial therapy. 

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a serious threat to global health. Current healthcare procedures are too weak to win the war against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Without serious action, simple infections that were easily treated with antibiotics in the past could become lethal.

ODx’ proprietary detection technique relies on subjecting urine samples to an antibiotic panel to assess the effectiveness of each compound at killing bacteria. 

TTP and ODx have further refined and developed this technology to provide rapid and multiplexed analysis. The test passes light through samples, monitoring optical response over time to investigate bacterial growth and if or how this is affected by the presence of different antibiotics. 

The multiplex cartridge allows for different antibiotic panels and concentrations to be tested, depending upon clinical settings and geography. Once released, it is expected the system will be placed in doctors’ offices, hospital outpatient clinics and potentially pharmacies. 

This will help assess suspected UTIs at the point of care, ensuring the most appropriate antibiotics are identified as quickly as possible. Facilitating the development of personalised treatment plans, the system will help tackle antibiotic resistance by reducing un-necessary prescriptions, whilst making sure that antibiotic courses have the maximum possible effectiveness for a given patient.

The system is being co-developed through TTP’s Desktop Biology service, which was launched in 2016 to help companies accelerate the development of their assay to a product for use in diagnostics or research. 

TTP has been ODx’ development partner since early 2019, enabling their detection technology through a multi skilled team from both parties covering biology, microfluidics, optics, human factors and engineering capabilities. 
Piers Harding, Programme Manager at TTP, said: “Working with ODx to develop a system that actively addresses the antibiotic resistance issue is particularly rewarding as it has the potential to make a significant difference to the way infections are diagnosed and treated.”

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