BioPharma

Predictive analytics startup readies for pilot of patient resistance profile tool to combat HAI

LuminaCare Solutions, a biotech software developer that produced a predictive analytics tool for calculating patient’s resistance profile to hospital acquired infections, is raising a fresh round of capital to do pilot studies in the U.S., South Africa and U.K. It comes against a backdrop of President Barack Obama’s initiative to make fighting the superbug threat […]

LuminaCare Solutions, a biotech software developer that produced a predictive analytics tool for calculating patient’s resistance profile to hospital acquired infections, is raising a fresh round of capital to do pilot studies in the U.S., South Africa and U.K. It comes against a backdrop of President Barack Obama’s initiative to make fighting the superbug threat facing U.S. hospitals a priority

Its cloud-base platform involves evaluating the results of diagnostic tests to calculate resistance profiles. The About 70 percent of those antibiotic-resistant infections were caused by hospital-acquired infections.

In response to emailed questions from MedCity News, LuminaCare Solutions CEO Dr. David Howe said it is currently using a large database to validate the approach. He said initial pilots will include 10 to 20 patients.

“Our first product is geared towards patients with chronic respiratory infections such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. We’re looking to keep patients at home by giving appropriate antibiotics and reducing unnecessary hospitalizations.  In addition, we are also developing models for tuberculosis patients to help monitor treatments and identify patients with multi-drug resistant TB infections.”

Although the company’s platform focuses on hospital acquired infections, investors and pharmaceutical companies see other applications for LuminaCare’s platform. They include using it as a screening tool for clinical trials to help reduce the number of patients needed and supporting the selection of drugs into the clinic. Howe added that another potential application could be to select appropriate treatment for patients with bacterial infections in nursing homes and other at-risk patient populations.

Howe added that Obama’s superbug initiative has helped focus collaborator and potential investors’ attention on the value of tools like the ones it is developing.

“I think that the initiative is just starting as well as growing awareness of truly how bad the problem is and will be. There are several antibiotics that are no longer working, putting many medical procedures in jeopardy that we currently take for granted. We are getting more meetings with collaborators, supporters and potential investors than when we started.”

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

It is currently seeking about $500,000 in a seed funding round from investors to support the pilot studies. It’s also looking into securing funding from the Gates Foundation. It previously did a friends and family round.

LuminaCare is part of the StartUp Health’s portfolio. Although there aren’t many biotech/heath IT companies in that mix, the company has used its network to build key relationships with hospitals, according to LuminaCare co-founder and COO Stephen Chiricosta.