In February last year we announced a partnership with Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good fund, to develop a test to support cervical cancer screening in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We are jointly developing a test for the 13 most high-risk types of the human papilloma virus (HPV), the main cause of cervical cancer, as well as some genital and head and neck cancers.  In higher income countries, women are now routinely screened and treated for cervical cancer. As quality routine screening is not widely accessible to women in low- and middle-income countries, approximately 90% of deaths from cervical cancer occur in those regions. 
Health care professionals will test for HPV by using our Q-POC™ platform, which compresses a molecular diagnostics laboratory into a simple-to-use, portable, affordable and battery-operated device that can be used anywhere from basic ‘under-the-tree’ settings to clinics and hospitals. Testing will support same-day screen and treat programmes for women from across the globe.
We shipped our prototype Q-POC™ and HR-HPV cassettes out to Intellectual Ventures Lab in Bellevue, Washington, earlier in the summer, where they undertook a performance evaluation on a panel of patient samples. This week, colleagues at Intellectual Ventures Lab presented a poster at the 32nd International Papillomavirus Conference in Sydney, Australia, outlining our collaboration and the promising results of their initial testing.
“We’re pumped,” says Dr Corrie Ortega, Research Scientist at Intellectual Ventures Lab. “We’ve gotten really encouraging data just in the last couple weeks, and we’re planning for field evaluations later this year.”
The field evaluations will provide necessary data to refine the test and incorporate end user feedback into the final design of the HPV assay and our Q-POC™ device.
Jonathan O’ Halloran, CSO at QuantuMDx, said:
“Unfortunately, most cervical cancer cases and related deaths occur in low income nations because traditional cytology screening has proved to be too resource-demanding. To address this global health inequality, we’ve developed an accessible, affordable and accurate point of care HPV test that provides health workers with immediate results, allowing them to screen and treat women during a single visit and crucially reduce loss to follow-up.
“Coupled with an increase in the availability of treatment programmes in low-resource settings, we’re hoping Q-POC™ will play a significant role in the reducing the mortality rate from cervical cancer.
“In addition, it’s not just the individual healthcare providers and patients who will benefit from these results. The Q-POC™ has the capability to allow geotagging of anonymised patient data into the cloud. By aggregating that data electronically, you can ascertain real-time HPV prevalence across diverse geographical regions and support local public health surveillance initiatives.”
“As a company, we’re committed to empowering healthcare systems worldwide by developing novel, gold standard molecular diagnostics which both improve patient outcomes and increase clinical efficiency.”