Test could help avoid antibiotic related deafness in newborn babies


Professor Bill Newman said: “We look forward to working with our colleagues in Manchester and Liverpool to assess the impact of rapid genetic testing as a method of avoiding irreversible hearing loss in babies treated with antibiotics. Successful implementation would be a first in the integration of a rapid decision making, genetic-based diagnostic in the UK NHS.”

The project will begin in June 2018, with a development phase in year one and a trial of the test implementation phase on neonatal units in Manchester and Liverpool in year two.

The project builds on work undertaken through the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre which has prioritised a programme of work on avoiding hearing loss and using a personalised approach to improving healthcare and funding from Action on Hearing Loss to initially develop the point of care test.

Dr. Ralph Holme, Executive Director of Research at Action on Hearing Loss said: “We are delighted that the NIHR will be funding the development of this diagnostic test that we helped kick start with an Action on Hearing Loss grant. We hope that the hearing of thousands of children will be saved by quickly identifying those who are particularly sensitive to aminoglycoside antibiotics that can damage the sound detecting cells in the cochlea.”

David Budd, Chief Executive Officer of genedrive plc, said: The application of the Genedrive® test in an emergency healthcare setting is an excellent example of how a rapid, affordable, point-of-need test could impact patients’ treatment and quality of life.”

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