Development of platforms for enabling personalized medicine, in which the choice of treatment and dosage can be customized for each patient to ensure optimal effectiveness while minimizing any adverse effects.
- One such technology is a radiation field effect transistor (RADFET), which was originally developed in Tyndall for the European Space Agency for radiation monitoring in a space capsule, has been adapted for healthcare applications and is already commercialized (by Sicel Ltd). It is now possible to place a device either on the body, or as an implant e.g. within a tumor, to ensure that the actual radiation dosage received at the target site is the appropriate dosage for optimal therapy.
- An emerging area of personalised medicine is pharmacogenetics, in which a patient’s genetic profile is used to customise the treatment programme including both the selection of drugs and the optimal dosage required. Tyndall has developed a prototype system for near-patient genetic testing, which will enable a clinician to acquire a genetic profile from a patient using finger-stick blood sample (i.e. one tiny droplet), and to have that result in less than one hour, so that the prescribed therapy programme can be customised. This type of “companion diagnostic” approach allows safer and more effective treatment with existing drugs, and also allows the regulatory agencies to permit the commercialisation of drugs which have either no effect or adverse effects on portions of the population. This near-patient genetic analysis platform is also being developed for point of care diagnosis of infectious diseases.