With 200 million cases a year, and the death of a child every minute, malaria remains one of the world’s biggest problems. One issue is that patients get to hospital too late for drug treatments to be effective, due to high parasite burdens, with mortality rates of up to 20%. The drugs are toxic, and can cause serious side-effects. The chances of survival and time to recovery are both dependent on a patient’s parasitaemia when starting treatment. Furthermore, resistance to frontline drugs, which has been catastrophic in the past, is again spreading in SE Asia. There are no treatment options available to drug-resistant patients.
MediSieve Ltd is developing a novel medical device to treat malaria which could turn back the clock for these patients by rapidly and safely reducing their parasitaemia. It is a ‘dialysis-like’ technique, continuously pumping a patient’s blood through a magnetic filter via an external blood loop. The filter captures and removes malaria infected red blood cells from the bloodstream, using their distinct, naturally occurring magnetic properties; the rest of the blood returns to the patient unharmed.
Primarily intended as a complement to drugs, the device can be used to treat any malaria patient (including infants and pregnant women). Easy to use and cheap to manufacture, it could have a significant impact on severe malaria mortality, and be a very valuable tool in the fight against drug-resistance, as it can be used as a standalone treatment. Removing (rather than killing) infected cells provides substantial clinical benefits over drug treatments, improving outcomes.
1 job with MediSieve
Take responsibility in developing new techniques to functionalise beads with antibodies, aptamers and other entities.