Linear Diagnostics Ltd is developing a rapid test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea that can detect infection from a single sample, allowing diagnosis and treatment in a single patient visit. Rapid and appropriate antibiotic treatment is essential for both infections; chlamydia is largely asymptomatic and can cause infertility in women, and in gonorrhoea antimicrobial resistance has emerged to all previously used first line drugs – and the first strain resistant to dual therapy with ceftriaxone plus high-level azithromycin was isolated in England and Australia in 2018
Linear Diagnostics was founded by researchers from the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham, Professor Tim Dafforn and Dr Matt Hicks. The pair aimed to develop diagnostic devices based on patented technologies that use linear dichroism – which uses polarized light to detect the presence of molecules in solution. Initially focused on sexually transmitted infections, the technology can be utilised in a wide range of diagnostic applications.
Based on market opportunity, Linear Diagnostics concluded that a dual test for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (CT/NG) would present the best initial application for linear dichroism. The CT/NG test will detect gene sequences highly specific to these organisms, with linear dichroism providing significant advantages in terms of sensitivity and a faster time-to-result than existing solutions.
We will continue to monitor the in vitro diagnostics market, within and beyond sexually transmitted infections, for opportunities where Linear Diagnostics’ technology can be exploited to offer an improved diagnostics solution.
Linear Diagnostics Limited has secured £2m of investment from MEIF and other investors to develop new platform technology for medical diagnostic testing. The funding round was led by venture capital firm Midven, using equity finance from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF). The round also included investment from the UK Innovation Science and Seed Fund, the University of Birmingham, Abingdon Health and the company’s directors.