Upfront Diagnostics has embarked on the final phase of clinical trials in UK hospitals evaluating the use of its point-of-care rapid blood test for stroke.
The clinical study is being led by the Newcastle University Stroke Research Group in the UK.
The portable rapid blood test called LVOne, can detect in minutes strokes caused by a blood clot blocking a main vessel. This type of stroke is known as a large vessel occlusion (LVO).
LVOs account for 30% of strokes that occur annually. This severe type of stroke accounts for 95% of disabilities and deaths in stroke patients, according to Upfront Diagnostics.
According to the UK-based company, only 24 hospitals can treat LVO stroke with a thrombectomy – the standard procedure used to treat the condition. This needs to be performed quickly after diagnosis, but patients are often diagnosed at other hospitals leading to a delay in treatment.
Upfront Diagnostics has developed a handheld blood test that uses a fingerprick to indicate LVO stroke within 15 minutes.
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Called the Rapid Assay Diagnostic for Acute Stroke Recognition (RADAR) study, the clinical trial involves 500 patients with support from SBRI Healthcare and NIHR Clinical Research Network at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, Royal Victoria Infirmary, University Hospital of North Durham, and Royal Blackburn Hospital.
NHS consultant and stroke research professor Christopher Price said in a statement: “The RADAR study will provide essential information about how accurately and quickly the LVOne test can identify [LVO stroke patients] amongst a much bigger hospital population of patients with similar symptoms.”
Price added: “If our clinical research across the North of England shows that the LVOne test can accurately identify those patients who should go directly to a specialist hospital for emergency thrombectomy, then it will reduce delays in treatment and improve recovery from the devastating effects of severe stroke.”
Formerly known as Pockit, the company has raised £1.6m ($1.94) in funding for its technology.
The University of Birmingham is also targeting stroke detection. In July 2023, researchers began the Golden HOur for STroke (GHoST) study to investigate a test that uses saliva, blood and urine to indicate a stroke. The test is taken from a patient within the first hour of symptom onset and then analysed at a hospital.