July 2012

Diagnostics- At All Time High

Dr Ravi Kumar, Founder, XCyton Diagnostics

Diagnostics in India is perceived as a high volume – low profit, cash strapped industry and thus unattractive for investment by venture capitalists. XCyton’s vision was to cater to the unmet need of medical diagnosis of causative agent in cases of critical infections (read as life threatening or causing disabilities) on the day of admission to any ICU. Fastest and the most sensitive way to detect the direct presence of the infectious agent is to look for the genetic materials of the pathogens. Logically we arrived at the development of a molecular diagnostic tool that can detect the presence of the pathogens directly in the clinical specimen.

XCyton’s Syndrome Evaluation System (SES for short) was developed to simultaneously detect all the probable athogens in a single sample, in a single test, with just seven hours of process time. Research of SES involved judiciously mixing a complicated science of genomics with available knowledge of pathogenesis of the infections; blending the knowledge of nucleic acid chemistry to arrive at an easy to use test procedure; designing a test ultimately answers the needs of the clinicians at war with the infections. 

Today we believe that we have revolutionised the way neurologists manage infections. Timely use of this test can prevent blindness when eyes are infected after cataract surgeries. Neonatal sepsis the major killer of new born babies in this country is no more a desperate situation for neonatologists. This revolution would not have been possible but for the technology development loan we received from CSIR, Govt of India, in collaboration with NIMHANS, Bangalore; Sankarnetralaya, Chennai; LVPEI, Hyderabad; CCMB, Hyderabad; St John’s Medical college Bangalore and AIIMS, New Delhi.

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