HEMEX Health’s “Gazelle” diagnostic platform, which is based on technologies licensed from Case Western Reserve University, was awarded third prize and $100,000 in the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge. Sponsored by The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the National Institutes of Health, the challenge focused on the design and development of non-invasive, digital, multiplexed technologies to detect and diagnose sickle cell disease, malaria and anemia with global health and public health impact. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is cooperating with NIBIB in this global health effort to consider additional support for the challenge winners.
Case Western Reserve University researchers and Hemex Health have made significant advances in minimally invasive point-of-care technologies to screen for and diagnose malaria, sickle cell disease and anemia. These technologies won USPTO Patents for Humanity Honorable mention in 2018 and Patents for Humanity Award in 2015. The minimally invasive point-of-care test for sickle cell disease was launched globally in advance of World Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Day on June 19.
Despite progress made in screening for and treating malaria, sickle cell, and anemia, many children in low- and middle-income countries still die or suffer without an accurate diagnosis in the first years of life. Non-invasive tests that help screen for and diagnose these and other related conditions has been a long-term dream in the global health community.
Hemex Health is collaborating with Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology, and Case Western Reserve University, to achieve multiplexed point-of-care non-invasive sickle cell disease, anemia and malaria diagnosis with an affordable finger cuff sensor.
The Gazelle diagnostic platform was recognized for its “affordable, non-invasive and minimally invasive diagnosis of anemia, malaria and sickle cell disease,” which will be obtained through use of an advanced finger cuff sensor to detect hemoglobin variants related to anemia and sickle cell disease, and hemozoin, a marker for the malaria parasite in blood.
The platform will be developed by HEMEX Health Inc., Medtronic Inc., and researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Umut A. Gurkan, the Warren E. Rupp Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Ran An, postdoctoral research associate in Gurkan’ laboratory.