Clinical Sensors Develop Device To Diagnose Early Stage Sepsis

Clinical Sensors Develop Device To Diagnose Early Stage Sepsis
Sepsis is a life threatening medical condition arising following severe infection. More than 250,000 deaths occur each year from the condition, and quick detection is key to survival. Following a widespread infection in the body, the immune system releases various chemicals to fight the invading infectious agents in the blood stream. One of the many molecules released from cells during sepsis is nitric oxide (NO), and it is recognized to be connected with the progression of the condition, making it a target for new diagnostics that could improve health outcomes.

The North Carolina-based startup Clinical Sensors is developing devices that can identify and monitor patients at risk of life-threatening conditions at a very early stage. Their novel point of care device directly measures a patient’s NO level and related metabolites from biological fluids, only requiring a single blood sample. The technology is specifically designed for bedside use in ICUs and on the hospital floor by minimally trained clinical staff, providing real-time measurement and identification of patients with sepsis within seconds.

Sepsis is an all-too-common occurrence in the modern hospital, and one of the most critical factors driving patient outcomes is rapid recognition. Delayed treatment plays a significant role in many of the over 250,000 deaths that occur each year from sepsis, and for every hour that sepsis diagnosis is delayed, a patient’s risk of death increases by over 7 percent. Clinical Sensors is developing an innovative point of care device that could allow early detection of sepsis. If detected early, treatment consists of antibiotics and fluids to prevent dehydration and kidney dysfunction, versus intense invasive treatment if detected later. Clinical Sensor’s technology could take hours off the diagnosis of sepsis, allowing doctors to start treatment while less invasive options are still effective and chances of survival and full recovery is greater. The device could significantly improve care and health outcomes for millions of people worldwide, while reducing costs of more intensive treatment options and longer hospital stays, highlighting the startup’s huge potential.

Clinical Sensors has been awarded close to $4 million in NIH SBIR/STTR grants since 2014, including $1.5 million in 2017. The grants allow the startup to continue the development and demonstration of their point of care device for NO measurement and early detection of sepsis, along with a clinical study of patients with severe burns. Part of the grant was also dedicated to add the measurement of S-nitrosothiols to its sensor platform, compounds that store NO in the body, to better assess its role in sepsis and other diseases.