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Atlas Completes Development of io™ Reader, a Point-of-Care Device for Rapid Detection of Infectious Diseases

BATH, England, January 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Atlas Genetics Ltd ("Atlas" or the "Company"), the diagnostic company developing ultra-rapid point-of-care (POC) tests for a range of infectious diseases, today announces that it has completed development of the Atlas io™ Reader, a POC device that can deliver laboratory quality results for molecular assays in under thirty minutes.

The Atlas io™ Reader, developed with The Technology Partnership plc ("TTP"), operates with a disposable cartridge, to which an unprocessed clinical specimen is added. The instrument fully automates the three-stage process of sample preparation, DNA amplification, and electrochemical detection to analyse the patient's sample for the target infection.

The current clinical practice usually involves sending test samples to the central laboratory for analysis with a turn-around time of up to ten days.  The Atlas io™ Reader allows rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases, providing clinicians with the opportunity to treat the patient immediately, eliminating the need for a return visit and greatly improving patient outcomes.

The Atlas io™ Reader is now entering pilot manufacture ahead of the company conducting clinical studies to support its application for regulatory clearance in Europe later this year.

John Clarkson, CEO of Atlas, said: "Our focus is on diseases including sexually transmitted, and hospital acquired infections, where rapid diagnosis is essential for effective treatment and control. The Atlas io™ Reader is an accurate, low cost, diagnostic instrument that has the potential to revolutionise infectious disease diagnosis by allowing clinicians to test and treat their patients in the same visit."

Piers Harding, project leader at TTP, comments: "The outstanding results that we are seeing from initial production instruments are testament to the close working relationship that Atlas Genetics and TTP have formed over the past year."

About Atlas (http://www.atlasgenetics.com)

Atlas (Atlas Genetics Ltd) develops ultra-rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. The Atlas io™ Reader uses patented technology based on the use of a novel electrochemical sensor that combines speed, accuracy and multiplex detection capability.  The Company has its head office and laboratory facilities near Bath.  Atlas was established in 2005 and is financed by VC, corporate and private investors including Novartis Venture Funds, J&J Development Corporation, Life Science Partners (LSP), BB Biotech Ventures, YFM Equity Partners and Consort Medical plc.  The Company raised £16.9 million in a series B financing in 2011.

About TTP (http://www.ttp.com)

The Technology Partnership plc (TTP) is Europe's leading technology and product development company. TTP works closely with its clients to create disruptive products based on advances in technology and engineering innovation. TTP's technology lies behind many products and processes in areas as diverse as communications, digital printing, instrumentation, consumer & industrial products, biotechnology, medical devices, cleantech and security systems. 


The Atlas io™ platform

POC diagnostics offer health professionals the ability to test for medical conditions at the site of patient care.  Atlas has developed a flexible POC technology platform, which has been designed to accurately and quickly diagnose a wide range of medical conditions within 30 minutes.  The Atlas io™ instrument consists of an inexpensive test machine into which a disposable cartridge containing a patient sample is inserted.  The Atlas io™ Reader is scheduled for clinical trials in 2014, followed by rollout in Europe and the United States, pending regulatory approvals.

Atlas is developing tests for a range of infectious diseases including sexually transmitted diseases and hospital acquired infections.  The Atlas io™ system will initially be launched for the testing of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, allowing clinicians to test and treat patients in a single visit.  Over 50 million tests are carried out for these diseases in Europe and the US every year.  According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Chlamydia is the most frequently reported Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), with prevalence rates in young people between 5-10%, whilst Gonorrhoea is the second most commonly reported STD. The worldwide in vitro diagnostic market for infectious disease testing is estimated to be worth around US$9 billion.

SOURCE Atlas Genetics Ltd.

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