Diagnostic company spots business incubation opportunity
A business that specialises in the diagnosis of infectious diseases has become a tenant at the medtech and biotech incubator, Cardiff Medicentre.
Q5 Healthcare was set up in 2013 by Medicinal Chemist Dr Raj Rao. Dr Rao, along with Q5’s Head of Clinical Development Dr Helen Hughes, was previously part of BioDynamics Research Ltd which was one of the first companies to begin operating out of Cardiff Medicentre 25 years ago.
Having now taken up new space at the leading facility located in the grounds of the University Hospital of Wales, Dr Rao and his team are developing a suite of diagnostic test kits for use by GPs and clinics. These kits will help medical professionals all over the world pinpoint a patient’s infection at the point of care without having to conduct further investigation or send samples for laboratory testing.
Dr Michael Graz, Managing Director of Q5 Healthcare and a specialist in infectious diseases, said, “Our main activity at the moment is in the fields of women’s intimate health and acute systemic infections, where the incorrect diagnosis of infectious diseases that frequently occurs often results in the wrong treatment being prescribed, and possibly poor treatment outcomes.”
The company’s attention is currently fixed on primary care, particular the NHS, with the aim of providing a better, more efficient way of diagnosing and treating infections.
Dr Graz explained, “By identifying the infection while the patient is still in the clinic or GP’s surgery, not only can the correct medication be prescribed there and then, but this could mean that the patient does not have to return to the clinic unless the treatment is unsuccessful. The other major benefit that our technology will provide is the reduction in the number of samples that are sent to laboratories, freeing up those workers to focus on potentially more critical issues. Ultimately, this will reduce the costs of diagnosis and treatment that are currently being borne by the NHS.”
Q5 Healthcare is preparing for commercialisation, with efforts being invested in honing its initial product. The company’s first device patent has recently reached international publication stage, and the product’s launch is planned for early 2019. The aim is then to complete the development of at least four other diagnostic products that are currently in the pipeline.
The company will be working with an innovative company based in Pontypridd to produce its first diagnostic device, and all manufacturing and marketing will take place in and from South Wales. In the longer term, the Q5 team is hoping to recruit locally to bring in several scientists as well as operations, and sales and marketing staff once commercialisation is underway.
“Our roots are firmly in South Wales, having established and gone on to operate Q5 in Cardiff”, said Dr Graz. “The Medicentre is a great ecosystem for small companies and we are developing strong relationships with other companies located here, as well as with the University Hospital of Wales.”
Dr Justin John, Business Incubation Officer at Cardiff Medicentre, said, “Cardiff Medicentre has a proud history of nurturing businesses that have made significant medical advancements and identified better ways of delivering healthcare. Q5 is another such company. We are delighted to welcome back Dr Rao and Dr Hughes, and very much look forward to supporting the Q5 team as it moves towards commercialisation.”