Industry–changing disease diagnostics device

Originally Published in April 2017

Genomtec is a company that develops technology for genetic analysis and diagnostics. A team of researchers designed Genomtec ID – a portable device for detecting infectious diseases and viruses. The device, based on lab-on-chip technology, can be used by medical professionals and veterinarians, as well as patients with no diagnostic experience. This is the first technology of its kind in Europe and one of the few in the world.

The value of the global molecular diagnostics market is expected to reach nearly $9.5 billion by 2020. Genomtec’s provision of diagnostic services, based on its patented technology, is projected to result in high profitability. The company’s goal for 2017 is to develop and test prototypes of commercial analyzers and reaction cards.  

With nearly 50 years of experience in the field of clinical genetics, Professor Tadeusz Dobosz is the head of the R&D department. “We want to enable professionals to make faster, better decisions when it comes to the health and life of humans and animals – any time and place,” said Dobosz. “We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we already have a good chance of making a breakthrough.”  

The phone-sized device is versatile for several applications for humans, such as diagnostic self-tests. However, it is also a revolutionary instrument for veterinarians and farmers to test animals. Genomtec ID can detect prevalent animal pathogens and can recognize nearly 100 percent of predefined viruses. This will help veterinarians who diagnose animals on farms every day. Obtaining accurate test results to determine whether there is a bacterial or viral infection problem allows farmers to quickly implement treatment or quarantine animals. Precise diagnostics help fight against antibiotic resistance and increase the profitability of food production.    

“We want to enable professionals to make faster, better decisions when it comes to the health and life of humans and animals – any time and place,” said Prof. Tadeusz Dobosz.

A portable lab that can fit in a pocket combines mobility, ease of use and speed of analysis with accurate detection of specific DNA and RNA fragments. This modern technology is typically only available in professional laboratories, which is why Polish scientists decided to develop a device that identifies dangerous viruses faster and cheaper, and to make it more available for thousands of doctors, especially in developing countries. Genomtec ID is the first step to initial detection of common diseases such as MRSA, hepatitis B, chlamydia, gonorrhea and numerous others. To perform a test, the user applies a drop of biological matter on a special card, which is then inserted into the device. The results will appear on the screen or can be sent by e-mail. The device and detection method is protected by international patent applications.  

Chief technologist at Genomtec, Miron Tokarski, is a doctoral student in the field of molecular biology. “The method multiplies and amplifies genetic material, both DNA and RNA,” he said. “Thanks to this, we are able to identify the bacteria with an accuracy of up to 100 percent. From the sampling, results are ready in only 20-40 minutes – several times faster than in the case of expensive laboratory equipment using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) techniques.”