Molecular Warehouse awarded £250,000 Innovate UK grant

Molecular Warehouse has been awarded a £250,000 Innovate UK grant for development of a remote monitoring test for kidney transplant patients.

There are 35,000 kidney transplant patients in UK (and over 500,000 across developed economies), who have to take immunosuppressant medication for the rest of their lives, in order to avoid graft rejection.

Modern immunosupressants have increased 10-year overall kidney graft survival to 60% compared with 40% from a decade prior. However, the narrow therapeutic index and inter- patient level variability of immunosuppressants currently necessitates patient monitoring in the clinic.

Unfortunately, the burden on the time and cost on both patients and the healthcare system results in infrequent testing, which combined with lifestyle changes and poor medication adherence, leads to immunosuppressant levels being poorly controlled, and concomitantly to shorter graft survival.

Considering that the cost benefit of kidney transplantation compared to dialysis is £24,100 per year for each year that the patient has a functioning transplanted kidney, each year of improved graft survival for the ~3,000 new kidney transplants per year in UK would save the NHS £72m per year.

To solve this problem, Molecular Warehouse is developing a self-testing diagnostic device for the rapid monitoring of immunosuppressants in kidney transplant patients. The test can be performed at home on the patient’s smartphone, and results immediately sent wirelessly to an online dashboard for review and confirmation by the prescribing doctor.

This test will for the first time enable a patient-centric, precision-medicine approach to immunosuppression therapy, improving transplant maintenance and patient quality of life, and reducing operational costs and waiting times in the NHS.

After having developed a functional proof of concept of the system, this project will develop the pre-production prototype and initial clinical testing, in collaboration with leading clinicians who have agreed to support this project to make this product available to patients rapidly.


Supporting clinicians and experts:

Prof. David Taube – Imperial College London, UK
Professor David Taube is one of the country’s leading nephrologists and the UK’s only Professor of Transplant Medicine, and the Director of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC). Prof Taube is the medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Professor of Transplant Medicine at Imperial College London, and brings more than 25 years’ experience in research, education and clinical leadership to Molecular Warehouse.

Dr. Mark Harber – Royal Free Hospital London, UK
Dr Mark harber is an honorary senior lecturer and consultant nephrologist with a specialist interest in transplantation. He has research interests in the immune system, infectious diseases and transplantation, urinary tract infection and acute kidney injury.

Prof. Atholl Johnston – Queen Mary University / Analytical Services International, UK
Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London: visiting Professor of Forensic Pharmacology and Toxicology at St George’s, University of London and Scientific Director for ASI, Atholl is well known for providing scientific leadership and expert insight into drug discovery, designing and analysing drug efficacy studies and trials, advising on drug manufacturing quality and providing Expert contribution into development of legislation for drug use and to police abuse. Prof. Atholl has more than 35 years’ experience in the measurement of drugs as a guide to therapy and has co-organised international laboratory proficiency testing schemes for the measurement of immunosuppressive drugs.

Sayeed Malek, MD, FACS – Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard, USA
Dr. Sayeed Malek joined the Division of Transplant Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2006 and is currently the Clinical Director of Transplant Surgery. The primary focus of his research is the study of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in transplantation. He also serves on many regional and national committees including the New England Paired Kidney Exchange committee and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)/ Minority Affairs committee. Dr. Malek’s interests include living donor kidney transplantation and pancreas transplantation.

Prof. David Johnson PSM, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Australia
David Johnson is currently Medical Director of the Queensland Renal Transplant Service at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, He is the principal investigator on a number of large, multi-centre randomised controlled trials, including the balANZ, HERO, IDEAL, IMPENDIA, HONEYPOT and CKD-FIX trials, and is chair of the Data Safety and Monitoring Board for the FINESSE trial. He has published over 600 original manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and presented over 360 abstracts at national and international scientific meetings.

Prof. Raymond Vanholder – Chair of the European Kidney Health Alliance, Belgium
Prof. Vanholder is the Chair of the European Kidney Health Alliance, and Emeritus Professor at the University Hospital Ghent, in Belgium, where he served as Head of the Department of Nephrology for more than 30 years. Until 2011 he was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Renal Association – European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA – EDTA), an organisation he has been Distinguished Fellow of since 2011.

Thomas Lonngren, PhD (hc), MRPharmS, FRCP
Thomas is former Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency, EMA (Jan 01-Dec 10) and previously served with the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare as Director of Operations (1978-93) and later Deputy Director General at the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA), Läkemedelsverket (Jan 93 – Dec 00). Thomas established the EMA from a relatively small unknown agency in 2001 to a world-renowned leader in 2010 and was responsible for all of its operations and annual work flow. He is currently Director at his own independent consultancy