Radisens Diagnostics Announces €1M Contract with European Space Agency
Cork, Ireland – Nov 01, 2011 – Radisens Diagnostics has been awarded a €1m contract by the European Space Agency to develop an innovative blood testing device for use by astronauts on board the International Space Station and on various human spaceflight missions.
Congratulating the company, Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation, said “Radisens Diagnostics’ success is the most recent example of an Irish company reaping significant benefits from Ireland’s membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) through Enterprise Ireland. It is encouraging to see that Irish SMEs are developing a high profile as providers of innovative solutions for use in the European Space Programme”.
The European Space Agency has contracted Radisens Diagnostics to add a thyroid test to their point-of-care device which is currently in development at their facility in Cork. ESA wants to use the device on board the International Space Station and on various human spaceflight missions where it is essential to get instant, laboratory grade results for myriad health conditions.
Back on Earth, the technology developed for the space programme by Radisens Diagnostics will enable a general physician (GP) to take a finger-prick of blood and test patients for diabetes, heart disease, liver and kidney damage and thyroid conditions in their surgery with instant results. Future developments will enable the diagnosis of heart attacks, early stage cancers such as prostate and ovarian, infectious diseases such as HIV, and viruses. With a over one billion blood tests ordered at point-of-care annually worldwide, this test menu offering is a potential game-changer.
Currently, if a person needs a blood test they have to be referred to a hospital where a qualified phlebotomist takes a vial(s) of blood which has to be sent to a central laboratory for testing. The whole process introduces significant delays, patient anxiety and huge inefficiencies within healthcare systems, for what are routine tests.
Radisens Diagnostics recently announced a strategic partnership with the UK’s NHS, to integrate a kidney test to their point-of-care device, thus decentralising up to 15 million blood tests from UK hospitals annually into the GP surgery, providing for a more comfortable and convenient experience for patients suffering from chronic kidney disease, and significant cost savings for the NHS.
Announcing the contract, Jerry O’Brien, CEO Radisens Diagnostics said, “Winning this contract from the European Space Agency is a significant endorsement of our ‘sample-to-answer’ device and the breadth of blood tests it can offer. We are delighted to formalise our strategic partnership with ESA with the support of Enterprise Ireland and look forward to working on the application of our technology to terrestrial and space healthcare diagnostic needs”.
Radisens Diagnostics Ltd is located in the Rubicon Centre, which is a business incubation centre funded by Enterprise Ireland and Cork Institute of Technology, is funded by private investors, Kernel Capital, Enterprise Ireland, France’s Sophia Business Angels and the Cork City Enterprise Board and will shortly be launching it’s 2011 Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (which replaces previous Business Expansion Schemes) to allow Irish private investors to share in the company’s growing success.
About Radisens Diagnostics
Radisens Diagnostics, a venture-backed diagnostics company, is breaking new ground in the decentralization of routine blood testing from central reference laboratories into physician offices, outpatient clinics, hospital bedsides and other point-of-care settings. With a finger-prick of blood, this multi-mode diagnostic device will return laboratory-grade results within minutes during a patient’s physician visit.
Radisens’ applications at launch in 2015 will concentrate on test panels to provide clinical benefits for more efficient chronic disease management. A single sample-to-result analyzer, this IP protected platform will provide a step improvement in blood test performance, and will remove the many anxious days or weeks of waiting for routine blood test results, provide better patient outcomes and introduce much needed efficiencies into healthcare systems worldwide.
About Enterprise Ireland and the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) is the intergovernmental organisation that promotes co-operation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems. Ireland’s membership of ESA permits Irish companies and research teams to bid for ESA contract development work in a range of space programmes.
Enterprise Ireland is the Irish body responsible for co-ordinating Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programmes of ESA. Its role is to assist Irish companies to successfully bid for ESA contracts. Enterprise Ireland provides a source of expertise for Irish companies in developing and executing space strategies, Irish industrial participation is primarily in the engineering, aerospace, software, electronics, optoelectronics and telecommunications sectors.
The level of spin off export sales (including direct ESA contracts) from Irish investment in ESA is estimated at €35m in 2010 and projected to grow substantially as the number of Irish companies securing ESA contract continues to expand, and as existing Irish ESA contractors progress from intensive R&D phase to commercial exploitation phase.
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