New diagnostic technique can reduce mortality in one of the world’s most common infectious diseases
Today, Sciety wants to pay attention to World TB Day, which aims to highlight the extensive health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a contagious infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs but also other organs. It is an airborne disease that spreads when a person with tuberculosis coughs or sneezes.
One quarter of the world’s population has tuberculosis and every year 10 million people fall ill with tuberculosis. More than 4,000 people a day die from the disease, which can be related to the the Ebola outbreak that took place in West Africa in 2013 to 2016. The outbreak killed in total around 11,000 people, an equivalent number of death tuberculosis takes in just a few days.
That the mortality is so high is partly due to the fact that today’s diagnostic methods are insufficient. One third of those affected by tuberculosis are undiagnosed or missing from reporting and two thirds of those with antibiotic resistant tuberculosis are misdiagnosed. In the World Health Organization’s (WHO) effort to eradicate tuberculosis, the need for safer, faster and easier diagnostics is prioritized. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are key to reducing the spread of infection and saving lives.
At global level, approximately SEK 65.3 billion is spent annually to diagnose, prevent and treat tuberculosis. The market for tuberculosis diagnostics is approximately SEK 19.3 billion per year and in 2025 it is expected to amount to SEK 36.2 billion.
Sciety will soon be funding a company that wants to reduce the high mortality rate of tuberculosis. The company develops a simple and effective DNA-based diagnostic solution. The company’s single-use test can identify the tuberculosis bacterium and detect if the bacterium is resistant to various types of antibiotics. The goal is to provide clinics worldwide with the test, which would allow faster start of correct treatment. The company plans to launch in India, which is the world’s largest market for tuberculosis diagnostics, as early as 2021.
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Sciety is the leading investor syndicate in the Nordics with an exclusive focus on life science and health tech. We combine experience from life science and finance to select promising companies in the industry. Sciety invests own funds in all companies that pass our selection process and offer the network to co-invest on the same terms. The network comprises venture capital firms, family offices and business angels. Sciety’s vision is that innovations in life science reach their full potential.