A word from our CEO
With an increasing number of people seeking COVID-19 testing, the value of rapid and safe POC tests (POCT) that can be performed close to the patient is becoming more and more apparent to authorities, politicians and the health care system. Our assessment is that a growing number of clinical trials will move out of the large hospital labs and closer to the patients and treating healthcare providers as market demand increases. As a result, demand for safe, precise and high-quality POCT is set to rise in several clinical areas that current POC platforms are not yet catering to.
During the second quarter, Siemens announced the successful development of a new CE-marked test for the cardiac marker high-sensitivity troponin on its Atellica VTLi platform. The product is based on the previous platform Minicare, which was produced by Philips and acquired by Siemens. It has taken these companies many years to develop this test; in other words, the development of a functioning test for high-sensitivity troponin on a POC platform is a complex, difficult and resource-intensive process. The fact that Siemens’ research has continued for so many years is an indication of how extremely interesting and strategically important it is for the global operators to find their way into this major market. Moreover, it demonstrates that Prolight Diagnostics has chosen a path that is of great interest to larger players.
Since Siemens is yet to publish any clinical data, product costs or launch dates to base an assessment or analysis on, we have not been able to compare Siemens’ data and clinical performance with our own. We will thus come back to the matter as soon as more public information is disclosed. In any case, the support in raising awareness of the knowledge and benefits that POC systems can provide in this clinical area is welcome. Our assessment is that it will both promote acceptance and drive demand for POC systems aimed at patients with possible heart disease in health care.
As more POC systems are launched on the market, requirements will grow to include competitive pricing of POC instruments and test cards in addition to precise results and rapid response times. In turn, this implies that production costs will become an increasingly important factor. It will, therefore, be extremely interesting to see how Atellica’s instrument and test cards will be priced.
In tandem with our technology partner TTP, we have tried to identify how we can best contain production costs and at the same time manage to perform a cost-effective upgrade of our current platform to enable additional biomarkers and multiple tests at a time, i.e., multiplex testing. Although the company’s liquidity is currently very good, we have, together with TTP, made the assessment that additional capital will be required to conclude this development. Hence, we are not ceasing in our efforts to seek co-financing from potential industrial partners as soon as possible. As the proposed further development would also require integration and coordination with the third stage of development of high-sensitivity troponin, the Board of Directors remains committed to commence this development step as soon as the company receives sufficiently strong indications from potential industrial partners on where we are headed.
To make it easier for global, potential industrial partners and foreign investors to get a picture of Prolight Diagnostics, a new website in Swedish and English was launched during the quarter. We have also upgraded the logo. The drop of blood endeavours to convey that we strive to offer tests with more biomarkers in additional clinical areas, beyond the cardiovascular area that was the focus of the old logo. It is gratifying to note that we have received positive feedback on our new website from several shareholders and international companies.
All in all, our ambition remains to establish cooperation with a potential industrial partner for further development of our Micro Flex system. In parallel, we are also monitoring developments in relation to new technologies, assessing if any of these has the potential to strengthen and complement our offer. Our aim is to establish Prolight Diagnostics as a completely unique company in the field of POCT.
Lund, Sweden, August 2021
CEO of Prolight Diagnostics AB (publ)