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Groundbreaking AI-Driven Sepsis Diagnosis Technology Could Guide Personalized Treatment for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 Feb 2022
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A novel diagnostic assay for the early and rapid diagnosis of sepsis, based on the detection of unique molecular signatures of sepsis specific to the immune response, rather than the presence of a pathogen, could guide personalized treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Asep Medical Holdings Inc. (Vancouver, BC, Canada) has finalized an exclusive licensing arrangement with the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada) for a patented and potentially groundbreaking AI-driven technology that enables early and accurate diagnosis of the deadly disease sepsis, which is also a major contributing factor in COVID-19 morbidity. Asep’s novel diagnostic test called SepsetER senses the dysfunctional immune response underlying sepsis at the time that patients first enter the emergency room. The test is a blood-based gene expression assay that is straightforward to implement, and results are obtained in about an hour in the emergency room or intensive care unit. Current diagnostic tools deliver results after approximately 24-36 hours often delaying the initiation of treatment. SepsetER is designed to enable physicians to quickly predict the severity of the disease and thus define better, more immediate treatment options for the patient.

Sepsis, a difficult-to-diagnose disease because of extensive variability in symptoms and outcomes, can be divided into five separate subtypes/endotypes according to the underlying biological mechanisms that drive the disease. Patients hospitalized with life-threatening COVID-19 also fit into these same endotypes, indicating that many COVID-19 patients have severe sepsis. Two endotypes are particularly associated with more severe sepsis and accompanying organ failure and patients falling into these two subtypes were more likely to die. The most severe form of sepsis, occurring in up to one-half of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients, can lead to multi-organ failure, the requirement for mechanical ventilation, and in many cases death.

Furthermore, many patients who recover from severe sepsis suffer from chronic medical issues which are very similar to those issues that afflict patients that suffer from long-term COVID-19 disease, termed long COVID. Being able to classify sepsis into the five sepsis endotypes could provide key information to physicians regarding the underlying mechanisms of disease and help guide personalized treatment options for those patients at greatest risk of severe sepsis. Asep's patent licensing arrangement with UBC gives it exclusive rights to develop the sepsis severity endotypes into a diagnostic test and bring the test to market.

"This technology will enable us to make a major impact on the lives of patients who acquire this deadly syndrome. Early and accurate diagnosis is vital to saving lives and we expect this technology to be widely used in hospitals and clinics around the world," said leading UBC microbiologist and the company's founding director and COO, Dr. Robert E.W. Hancock who led the development of the technology.

Related Links:
Asep Medical Holdings Inc.
The University of British Columbia 

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