The Ohio State University, through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation, and Nationwide Children's Hospital announced the signing of an exclusive, world-wide agreement with ENTvantage Diagnostics Inc. licensing a technology for rapid diagnosing of bacterial sinusitis. The jointly-created technology will be the foundation for ENTvantage Diagnostics Inc. to develop a diagnostic kit based on this technology to better equip physicians with additional information when making a bacterial sinusitis diagnosis.
The technology was developed as a result of the research collaboration between The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital. Subinoy Das, M.D. and Lauren O. Bakaletz, Ph.D., joined forces to create the diagnostic technology. Das is the former Director of The Ohio State University Sinus and Allergy Center and is now an adjunct Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University. In addition, he is a Research Associate of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Bakaletz is the Director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's. She is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and of Otolaryngology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Determining the primary cause of sinusitis remains a clinical challenge for physicians. Different kinds of medication are often given to a patient until a specific medication is effective in improving the sinusitis condition. The diagnostic kit will enable physicians to take a sample swab from a patient's nose, perform a rapid analysis, and have the results of the infection available the next day.
"Many patients are being prescribed antibiotics that they do not need or do not optimally treat the underlying pathogenic bacteria because there is a lack of definitive office-based diagnostic tests for this infection," said Das. "This assay kit will help physicians understand the underlying bacterial cause of sinusitis in their office and allow better selection of antibiotics to treat patients. In addition to more efficient treatment, the diagnostic kit will also aid in reducing the number of antibiotic resistant infections and complications."
"Our research serves as the foundation for this diagnostic test by demonstrating the specific bacterial protein profiles associated with chronic sinusitis. With the identification of these biomarkers, tests now can be developed to determine the presence and type of pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract," Bakaletz explained. "Seeing our research result in a
positive impact on physician practice, and more importantly on patient health, is the aspiration of every medical scientist."
Nationwide Children's Hospital and Ohio State have a long-standing collaborative history and continue to work together on several fronts, one of which includes commercializing technologies. Both organizations have an equity position in ENTvantage Diagnostics Inc.
ENTvantage was founded by serial medical device entrepreneurs Joe Skraba and Rick Hawkins who bring more than 50 years of collective experience in commercialization of a broad range of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotech products.
"Dr. Das and Dr. Bakaletz are thought leaders in their disciplines and the technology they created will truly change the diagnostic capabilities for bacterial sinusitis," said Skraba. "Collaborating with Nationwide Children's Hospital and Ohio State was a logical decision for ENTvantage."
Austin-based ENTvantage plans to commercialize diagnostic tests to improve the diagnosis of illnesses of the ear, nose and throat by providing rapid, in-office diagnostic test kits to physicians world-wide.
"The lack of diagnostic tools has led physicians to over prescribe antibiotics to treat sinusitis when they are not needed, we know that we can provide physicians with timely information to better diagnose the underlying cause of these illnesses and lead to better management of sinusitis," said Joe Skraba, the President & CEO of ENTvantage.
The implications of ENTvantage' s diagnostic kit go well beyond bacterial sinusitis.
"The same pathogens that cause bacterial sinusitis, also cause illnesses in other areas of the body, we believe we can extend this technology to identify these bacterial pathogens and lead to improved patient care, reduction of treatment costs and a reduction in the growing worldwide epidemic of antibiotic resistant infections," said Skraba.