Genedrive plc (LSE: GDR), the near patient molecular diagnostics company, announced that its Antibiotic Induced Hearing Loss test, the Genedrive MT-RNR1 ID kit, has obtained CE marking. The Genedrive MT-RNR1 ID kit will be used in critical care settings to screen babies for a genetic mutation, which if present, can cause lifelong deafness when they are given certain antibiotics.

Genedrive’s RNR1 test is believed to be the first example of a commercial genetic screening test designed for use in an infant emergency care environment. Some infants are born with a mutation in their MT-RNR1 gene, making them susceptible to lifelong, profound hearing loss if given the frontline antibiotic gentamicin. Infants with suspected infection need to be treated with antibiotics within one hour (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) of arriving in a neonatal intensive care unit. The current genetic tests that check the risk of hearing loss associated with gentamicin treatment are done from a hospital’s centralized genetics department, and typically take 3-5 days to return results. This does not meet the one-hour requirement of an urgent-care setting. The Genedrive test allows patients to be screened for the mutation upon admission in less than 30 minutes, and those that are found to have the gene mutation can be prescribed an alternative, safer treatment.

David Budd, Chief Executive Officer of genedrive plc, said, “We are very pleased to have achieved this important milestone, pioneering the availability of the first genetic acute care test for infants. CE marking of our RNR1 test allows for the next phase, with implementation evaluation by our NHS partners in Manchester and Liverpool. At the same time, we will look to the opportunities outside of the UK where CE marking gives us market entry.”

Professor William Newman, Clinical Head of Division in Genomic Medicine Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said, “We have been very pleased to partner with genedrive in the development and availability on the antibiotic-induced hearing loss test. We are planning to deploy use of the test across Manchester and Liverpool for the next 6-8 months, to show how it can be successfully implemented in a NHS environment. There is a huge level of enthusiasm on the sites amongst our neonatal consultants, nursing staff, and patient groups as we launch a truly novel genetic test that offers the possibility of improving the lives of thousands of babies and their families.”

Source: genedrive plc