Imperial College London Centenary
 
About Imperial
About ImperialContacts/getting hereAlumniResearchCoursesAbout this site
Select your text size  for this site here: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Extra Large Text

Note: Some of the graphical elements of this site are only visible to browsers that support accepted web standards. The content of this site is, however, accessible to any browser or Internet device.

 

New TB test scoops top prize at Medical Futures competition


External Sites:
-Medical Futures
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

For immediate release
Monday 7 November 2005

An inexpensive and rapid test for tuberculosis (TB) which could be used in developing countries has won first place in the Best Innovation to Improve Global Healthcare category of the Medical Futures Innovation Awards. It also scooped the overall prize at the awards ceremony held last week in London.

The test, known as MODS (Microscopic Observation Drug Susceptible Assay) is able to confirm the presence of TB from sputum samples in one week on average, taking one third to one quarter of the time of a standard TB test. At the same time, the new test is able to spot if the TB is drug resistant which is five to ten times faster than existing tests. The test costs $2 to perform compared with around $30 to $40 for a standard test.

Professor Jon Friedland (left) and Dr David Moore (right) with Caprice

Dr David Moore Opens in new window, from Imperial College London, and the winner of the Award said: "This test can be carried out using cheap and readily available tools and requires relatively little training or expertise. This is particularly important in developing countries which may not have the infrastructure we take for granted in the developed world."

Each year around 8 million new cases of TB are diagnosed, and 1.7 million people die from TB, often as a result of delayed diagnosis and through not being able to spot if the TB is drug resistant.

Working with colleagues from Perus National TB Programme, the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, AB PRISMA, and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the team realised many TB patients were dying unnecessarily largely due to an inability to cheaply and quickly diagnose TB. They have now completed proof of principle studies, evaluated the test in large- scale field trials, and are now looking at strategies for implementation and roll-out to optimize impact and cost-effectiveness.

Professor Jon Friedland Opens in new window, from Imperial College London, who helped develop the test, added: "TB is a major cause of mortality in the developing world, and eradicating it has been made difficult through a lack of inexpensive diagnosis equipment which can be deployed quickly and easily. The MODS test provides a simple solution to this, and I am very pleased that this has been acknowledged by winning this very prestigious award."

Professor Stephen Smith Opens in new window, Principal of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London said: "David and Jons work is an excellent example of how organisations such as Imperial can really help make a difference. The development of a low cost practical solution which can be rolled out in countries with a limited infrastructure could make an enormous difference in eradicating TB."

The work was funded by the Wellcome Trust.

For further information please contact:

Tony Stephenson
Press Officer
Communications Division
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6712
Mobile: +44 (0)7753 739766
E-mail: at.stephenson@imperial.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

1. The Medical Futures Innovation Awards are a national showcase of clinical and commercial excellence and in 2005 attracted over 1200 entries from across the wider healthcare arena including NHS, academia and the private sector. Website: http://www.medicalfutures.co.uk/

2. Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Website: www.imperial.ac.uk

[up]