At the ICU, time is of essence to optimize antibiotics prescription for bacterial co-infections of COVID-19 patients and BiosparQ can realize a POCT device that enables informed treatment decisions within 30 minutes

Leiden – Coronavirus has taken the world by unprecedented force, with patients at the ICU fighting to stay alive. However, many of these patients fight against not only the virus, but also bacterial co-infections, which require fast and precise antibiotics. The broad spectrum antibiotics that are prescribed for these bacterial co-infections are not always effective. When a patient continuous to deteriorate, physicians need to act fast to discover the cause. Is the deterioration due to the Corona virus or due to another cause ? Could the deterioration be due to a specific bacterial co-infection? Should the patient receive a more specific antibiotic instead of broad spectrum antibiotics? The last question creates discomfort. Unfortunately, in the current situation it often takes more than 48 hours to answer this question. The 48 hours could be crucial! With BiosparQ’s technology this is not the case. The Cirrus® D20 uses highly sensitive MALDI-TOF technology that makes culturing patient material on a petri-dish redundant.

From the moment Cirrus D20 is installed at the ICU, the doctor can know within 30 minutes whether a bacterial co-infection is present and which pathogen is the causative agent. The physician can then act immediately and prescribe the right antibiotics that address the specific bacterial co-infection of the patient. Targeted medicine can thus be prescribed instead of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Doing so will limit the impact of bacterial co-infections on patients and save lives.

As the ICU reaches full capacity, fast diagnosis is of the utmost seriousness not only to the patients, but also to the doctors, who work under incredible time pressure. Optimal treatment of the bacterial co-infections thus reduces the burden on the Intensive Care as patient recovery is accelerated.

BiosparQ, located at the Leiden Bioscience Park, has developed Cirrus D20 for a variety of applications. The market introduction of its first application was scheduled as a Point of Care instrument that determines within a few minutes which antibiotics should be prescribed for UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections). Cirrus D20 offers a versatility in the realm of bacterial infections, and hence, BiosparQ aims to accelerate its development to aid in the treatment of COVID-19 patients at the ICU.

“The MALDI-TOF technology makes the question ‘is one of these bacteria present?’ redundant, because it can answer the overarching question: ‘Which bacteria is present?’ We know the answer within 30 minutes!” Says G.C. de Valk, cofounder of BiosparQ.

Every day BiosparQ receives the question whether this unique technology platform could detect viruses in the same way as it detects bacterial infections. In short, G.C. de Valk states the affirmative: “Viral testing is feasible. Fundamental research at universities and academic hospitals is ongoing and MALDI-TOF offers many advantages compared to other analysis techniques.”

“We see the opportunity to improve the treatment of bacterial co-infections of critical ICU patients. We want to accelerate our innovation program for ultrafast Point of Care diagnostics of bacterial co-infections, in order to save lives of COVID-19 patients. To realize this, we need financial support. We are also looking for strategic partners that want to support us with our mission and help us expand into the realm of viral detection.”

G.C. de Valk
BiosparQ Directeur Business Development
06 2299 5725

April 9th, 2020