In order to eliminate HIV as a global health emergency by 2030, the 90-90-90 strategy was adopted in 2015 by UN member states. The strategy is articulated in three targets for 2020:
- 90% of people living with HIV will be aware of their status
- 90% of people diagnosed with HIV will be on sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART)
- 90% of people on ART will be virally suppressed
In 2015, $22 billion was invested in low- and middle-income countries to help end the AIDS epidemic. With the global commitment to 90-90-90, this amount will continue to increase. In response to the 90-90-90 strategy and the World Health Organization’s call for improved point-of-care devices for resource-limited settings, the initial assays on the PAx platform target epidemic infectious diseases, specifically HIV.
Our first assay will be a CD4 test to support the initiation and monitoring of antiretroviral therapy, and the management of opportunistic infections for people living with HIV. Our initial target market is nine countries concentrated mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, where 20 million of the 37 million people infected with HIV live. Follow-up assays, including an HIV-syphilis multiplexed immunoassay, early infant diagnosis, and viral load testing will give PAx the ability to provide comprehensive diagnostic coverage for HIV. ChipCare also plans to develop assays for other diseases that HIV-positive people often experience as co-infections, such as hepatitis C.
Although ChipCare’s initial focus is on infectious diseases, and HIV in particular, PAx has the ability to conduct tests typically performed on lab-based flow cytometer or bead array platforms. This creates the opportunity to dramatically expand the menu of tests available at the point-of-care, including in community-level health centres, emergency rooms and critical care, and doctor’s offices.
To reach the 90-90-90 targets, diagnostic access in remote areas and among key populations must be scaled up. ChipCare is uniquely positioned to bring diagnostics to key populations and people who live in remote settings. Lower rates of testing and retention to care among these groups drive infectious disease epidemics.
Key populations include youth, commercial sex workers, injection drug users, and men who have sex with men. These groups are hard-to-reach because of stigma. Reaching key populations is essential to controlling epidemics as they suffer from infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C at higher rates than the general population. To effectively combat epidemics, PAx will bring testing for a range of conditions into settings where key populations can be more effectively diagnosed and treated.
A lack of access to central lab testing and inadequate point-of-care technology options create barriers to accessing diagnostic testing in remote areas. PAx’s unique combination of affordability, mobility, and the ability to run three classes of tests make it the only device that can provide widespread diagnostic coverage in remote settings, such as community-based public health facilities, mobile clinics, mining sites, and ports of entry.
The Polyvalent Analyzer (PAx) platform occupies a unique space in the diagnostics market. By performing three classes of tests, PAx can accomplish on one device what currently requires two or three, and does so at a fraction of the cost. PAx improves the degree of mobility for point-of-care diagnostics, increasing the efficiency and reach of lifesaving care.
Bringing diagnostics to key
populations and remote settings
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