Aseptika is a healthcare company developing a patient self-monitoring system in the form of a home-use sputum test used to predict the onset of lung infections in people with long-term respiratory disease. Patients with severe airways disease are often chronically infected by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa and in these patients, despite attempts to treat these infections, complete eradication can be difficult. Flare ups of the infection (exacerbations) are common, leading to deterioration in symptoms which can result in 3-4 prolonged hospital admissions per year. Repeated exacerbations resulting in loss of lung function reduce a patient’s quality of life, are very disruptive, costly and can result in premature death.
In a simple to use cassette format (lateral flow), the sputum test and dedicated reading device combined with other self-monitoring devices as part of the Activ8rlives solution, can be used by patients at home to predict an increase in the virulence of the bacteria in chronically infected lungs, forewarning of an impending exacerbation. The sputum test is also able to support clinicians in their decision about the efficacy of antibiotics being prescribed. Small-scale trials have been conducted with volunteers who have Cystic Fibrosis (CF) using the laboratory-based version of the test. Further trials are underway with patients who have other respiratory conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), non-CF Bronchiectasis (NCFB) and Asthma.
Lung disease has overtaken coronary heart disease and cancer as the major killer in the UK, making it the third largest cause of death. The NHS provides 2.8 million hospital bed days for sufferers, costing £1,857 to £4,096 per admission, spending an estimated £4.7 billion a year treating patients and 24 million working days are lost.