Based on its recent analysis of the North American rapid diagnostics market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes First Light Diagnostics, Inc. with the 2019 North American Technology Innovation Award for its patented MultiPath™ platform and diagnostics tests for the infectious disease market. The platform enables pathogen identification in 30 minutes and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) results in four hours directly from the patient sample, thereby expediting treatment decisions by one to two days.
“The MultiPath platform’s direct-from-specimen testing eliminates the need for an intermediate culture step, while the ultra-sensitive detection feature identifies the low number of cells that might be present in uncultured patient samples,” said Bhargav Rajan, Leader, Medical Devices & Imaging Team at Frost & Sullivan. “The platform is a fully automated sample-to-result solution and can perform up to 20 ASTs simultaneously, which dramatically improves throughput and workflow. The platform is unaffected by samples containing multiple species of pathogens that contaminate microbes and sample matrices.”
First Light provides a cost-effective and specific test for
diagnosing Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection. By being both highly sensitive and specific, this test stands out from insensitive enzyme immunoassays and non-specific nucleic acid amplification tests.
The test is up to 60 times more sensitive than other available tests and detects the toxin at levels that clinically qualifies it as an infection. First Light’s test has higher specificity than nucleic acid amplification tests, because it only detects disease-causing toxins that are generated by the growing bacteria but not dormant spores found in colonized patients, which is one of the platform’s strongest selling points.
First Light’s MultiPath platform addresses the challenge with healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) as well. For example, the platform aids rapid, high-throughput, and cost-effective patient screening tests for a wide variety of superbugs and is not confounded by the multiple genes and mutations that cause antibiotic resistance.
The tests identify resistance phenotypically by determining whether the antibiotic stops the cells from growing. This approach works well even if the genetics of the resistance mechanisms are complex. Future applications include tests for the major types of serious infections such as pneumonia, surgical site infections, urinary tract infections, and sepsis in addition to screening tests for superbugs, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
“First Light’s technology can detect infections, toxins, biomarkers, and diagnostically informative human cells and identify pathogens in only 30 minutes, which is twice as fast as traditional methods,” noted Rajan. “Overall, First Light is expected to continue growing as its AST results are rapid and can be taken from different sample types; ultrasensitive tests for toxins and biomolecules are more accurate; and products offer high throughput and high performance at a low cost and small footprint.”
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognizes the solution’s quality and the customer value enhancements it enables.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analyses, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
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