A biotech entrepreneur wants to arm physicians with an electronic companion diagnostic tool to help hospitals reduce hospital-acquired infections.
Last year, antibiotic-resistant infections caused more than two million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 70 percent of those antibiotic-resistant infections were caused by hospital-acquired infections.
Typically after taking a culture it can take two to four days to get a result. The company wants to narrow that time and also figure out the patient’s resistance profile to ensure that physicians prescribe the most effective drug for each patient at the appropriate dosage faster.
It’s a personal issue as well as a professional one for LuminaCare Solutions CEO David Howe, who has had family members contract bacterial infections. He began studying the issue of antibiotic resistance mechanisms in-depth when he pursued a PhD at University of Michigan before working in the pharmaceutical industry for Vertex Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca.
“When you look at what’s happening with patients it’s pretty much a black box for physicians as far as determining whether [the bacteria] is resistant or not..and what’s the appropriate dosage,” said Howe.
Its platform technology processes the results of a PCR test, and also processes antibiotic information and data points around bacteria. The company’s platform straddles infectious disease, clinical pharmacology and epidemiology into one interface for coordinated care.
Howe said the early-stage company is still evaluating business models. Hospitals and Accountable Care Organizations represent one group of customers. It’s considering licensing its technology to diagnostics companies. It also sees applications for pharmaceutical companies, particularly to assess patients’ resistance profiles for clinical trial recruitment.