Fre 19 aug / År 40 / Nr 3 2022

Making the impossible possible

Diagonal Bio AB (Diagonal) is a biotech company that seeks to do what was once thought impossible – create a universal diagnostic platform which is quick, accurate, cost-effective and able to test multiple samples in parallel. The company was founded in Medicon Village in Lund in 2020, with a vision to limit the spread of infectious disease world-wide.

Diagonal’s diagnostic platform, Panviral, has the potential to change the infectious disease testing industry as we know it today, according to Jack Egelund Madsen, CEO, Diagonal Bio AB

Diagonal plan to realise the vision by creating an easy-to-use, ultra-fast, accurate and cost-efficient universal diagnostic platform for testing multiple samples in parallel – either multiple infectious diseases and/or multiple patients. The success of Diagonal will have a direct impact on the lives and health of individuals at a global scale.

Universal diagnostic platform

The diagnostic platform developed by Diagonal is called Panviral. It is a universal platform, meaning it can detect essentially all types of infectious diseases, regardless of whether these diseases have been induced by for example viruses, bacteria or fungi, the key is the presence of genetic material (DNA or RNA). Panviral also enables testing of multiple samples in parallel in combination with very high accuracy and sensitivity, which means very early and precise detection.

The process from taking a patient sample to delivery of the result can be achieved within 10-15 minutes. Hence, it is an ideal solution for today’s diagnostic challenges for example covid-19 and future pandemics to come. Panviral combines properties such as reliability, accuracy, speed and extreme ease of use for near patient testing.

Faster and more reliable

A large survey from Statens Serum Institute in Denmark showed that where PCR test detected 4069 positive samples the antigen test (rapid test) only captured 2159 of the positive samples. Meaning that 1910 individuals received a negative antigen test result, despite being infected with covid-19 (reference (Antigentest gav 47% falsk negative svar (ssi.dk)).

As a consequence the recommendations were therefore that in case of symptoms, even after a negative antigen test, or a positive antigen test, that in both cases the result should be followed up with a PCR test (Forskellen på PCR- og antigentest (lyntest) (ssi.dk)). FDA also raised concerns related to antigen tests (reference: Do Not Use E25Bio COVID-19 Tests: FDA Safety Communication | FDA).

Hence, the antigen tests (rapid tests) are not reliable enough to detect infectious diseases with high accuracy, despite being widely used during the covid-19 pandemic.  

The most reliable form of testing available today is the PCR based methods, but they are more expensive than the antigen tests, as well as more complex and time-consuming. Most of the PCR based technologies will in the best case take around a couple of hours, from taking the initial patient sample to delivery of the result, but more often it takes a few days before the patients receive the result, which may cause unnecessary quarantine (in case of a negative sample) or risk of spread of disease (in case of a positive sample and the patient do not self-isolate).

Health care providers are in an urgent need of a better diagnostic tool to cope with future pandemics and other infectious diseases affecting the population world-wide.

Direct impact globally

The market for infectious diseases testing, dominated by the antigen tests and the PCR based technologies, is valued at around $34 billion, and it is expected to increase significantly in the light of the covid-19 pandemic.

However, it is clear that the world needs better diagnostics – that are fast, accurate, cost effective, and easy-to-use near the patients, beyond the confines of labs and hospitals. Diagonal’s diagnostic platform, Panviral, has the potential to change the infectious disease testing industry as we know it today, according to Jack Egelund Madsen, CEO, Diagonal Bio AB. 

“Panviral is a universal diagnostic platform, which can be used anywhere, essentially by anyone, making it possible to get fast, accurate and cost-efficient results directly near the patients, which means ultra-fast and accurate diagnoses, fast treatment and reduced spread of infectious disease. We are looking forward to initiate the commercial activities related to Panviral during 2022”.

" As Panviral is highly cost-effective it can essentially be used as a diagnostic tool everywhere in the world. Hence, Panviral have the potential to directly impact the lives and health of individuals at a global scale, ensuring more efficient health care by enabling easy access to reliable diagnostics, reduced treatment time as treatment can be initiated faster and more precise, and limited spread of infectious disease as a result of quick and accurate diagnosis”, Jack Egelund Madsen concludes.