Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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36 Clinical OMICs May/June 2019 surveillance infrastructure," said Evan Jones CEO of OpGen. "This project is the first use case for that. For instance, they will be looking for events of candida auris, a new threat that has emerged. One of the metrics the DoH is looking for is does this approach work and can it be used for a real-time disease moni- toring platform for the state." To prove this out, the research project is oper- ating with a small handful of hospital networks in the five boroughs of New York City, a geo- graphic area the STARR report from last year identified as having one of the highest incidence rates of CREs in the state. Testing for pathogens will be conducted at the individual hospitals using OpGen's gene panel. In the event of a posi- tive test result indicating a bacterium carries drug resistant mutations—delivered in around three hours—the treating physician can prescribe an appropriate medication to the patient right way, something not possible currently. Further, since the ILÚM platform doesn't take data directly from the hospitals and instead from the state's HIEs, it can track, in near real time using ADT data—patient movement from one provider of care to another—allowing the hospitals to properly manage and isolate new patients and control the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. "With ILÚM's technology, they will be looking in near real time for the specific patterns or results of the traditional microbiology testing, flagging certain patients and certain samples," said Vadim Sapiro, OpGen's CIO. "For the pur- poses of the pilot, we are looking at the CRE markers or CRE type patterns of recurrence, and those samples will be flagged to be tested by our technology and (if there is a pos- itive result) further referred for sequencing." Jones is optimistic that the combined technologies of the two companies will prove the concept that a tech- nology that collects and flags health data combined with rapid testing can effectively help manage antimicrobial resistant bacteria and potentially serve as a model for other efforts. "The bigger picture is we would like to demonstrate that this technology can be scaled and, to the extent it can be deployed across the state of New York; not only is that a nice commercial opportunity for us, but in theory we should be able to take that to other states and perhaps become something that is standardized across the U.S.," Jones noted. From Taylor 's perspective, the combination of the two technologies, with support from the Wadsworth Center, rep- resents an effective public-private partnership to improve public health. "It is early and we are only in the Pilot Phase now, working through all the challenges of how best to make the system work efficiently and effectively, but I think there is huge potential for us to really slow the spread of drug resistant bacteria to save lives, and reduce healthcare costs," Taylor said. "I am also excited by the fact that we have developed a public-private partnership in which there is a real overlap of missions between the partners, one that benefits the res- idents of New York State as well as private industry. It is an added bonus that the members of the ILÚM and OpGen teams are really great collaborators and we are all benefit- ting from the experience of working closely together. That is public health at its best." (continued from previous page) New York's Department of Health hopes a pilot study with private companies OpGen and ILÚM will help it develop a statewide program to significantly reduce mortality rates and the spread of antibiotic resistant pathogens. nattrass / E+ / Getty Images "For the purposes of the pilot, we are looking at the CRE markers or CRE type patterns of recurrence, and those samples will be flagged to be tested by our technology and (if there is a positive result) further referred for sequencing." —Vadim Sapiro, CIO, OpGen

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