Sepsis is a deadly complication of common infections. Usually, it ignites when a bacterium makes it to the blood stream. The disease affects 49 million people every year, translating into healthcare yearly costs of almost $62 billion in the United States alone.
What’s more, the chance of survival drops by 7.6% each hour of disease progression until an appropriate antimicrobial treatment is started. Thus, achieving an early and informative diagnosis is a prerequisite for rapid and successful antibiotic therapy.
The Problem with Early Diagnostics
Sepsis is a complicated clinical condition. Its diagnosis requires the analysis of multiple patient biomarkers.
The immune response and the traces left by the infection on the blood stream can be used for early diagnosis and therapy monitoring. That, in turn, requires the quick and reliable measurement of multiple blood biomarkers.
“Despite this need, clinicians lack the diagnostic tools that can effectively detect and frequently monitor complicated biomarker signatures used for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with acute infections and sepsis. A need that not only currently exists but will also keep growing as more biomarkers or more complicated biomarker signatures with high clinical utility for management of sepsis are being discovered,” says Dimitris Tsiokos, Co-Founder & CEO of Bialoom.
The need for scalable, future-proof, and simple-to-use point-of-care tests that will be able to meet the growing needs on such densely multiplexed, rapid assays for sepsis is evident and will keep growing with new clinical discoveries.
How Does Bialoom Help?
Bialoom aims to address a clear market need for an affordable and accessible diagnostic device that will accelerate the diagnosis and therapy of sepsis at the point of need by leveraging tiny yet powerful photonic biosensors on silicon chips that can measure from split seconds up to a few minutes.
“Our solution relies on a novel plasmo-photonic integrated biochip that is capable of measuring a panel of key disease indicators from a tiny volume of patient blood (a fraction of a single drop) in order to:
- accelerate sepsis diagnosis,
- monitor disease progression without compromising patient’s comfort, and
- assess the effects of treatment next to the patient.
While our MVP aims to measure seven sepsis-related biomarkers in one chip, Bialoom’s unique technology paves the way for next-generation, massively-parallelised diagnostic tests for the detection of dozens or even hundreds of different biomolecules from a single drop of patient’s sample the patient’s clinical fingerprint” explains Dr. Tsiokos.
Dr. Dimitris Tsiokos is an Electronic Engineering graduate from the University of Southampton. His commitment to photonic science led him to the completion of an MSc in Photonics from the Imperial College London and a PhD in Photonics at the National Technical University of Athens.
He held various research positions developing photonic technologies for telecommunications, computer interconnects, and bio-applications at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, and others.
Dimitris Tsiokos’ passion for innovation in health and medical technologies led him to the founding of Bialoom. He is passionate about technology and innovation spinning around silicon photonics, plasmonics, biosensing, and point-of-care diagnostics. He’s also an EITHealth alumnus where he was trained in Health-tech innovation and entrepreneurship.
Foundation of Bialoom
“Bialoom was established in 2018 as a spin-out activity to bring our novel biosensor invention to the market of point-of-care diagnostics focusing on acute bacterial infections,” shares Dr. Tsiokos.
The company has developed a laboratory prototype and is seeking seed-round investment to deliver a fully functional and clinically validated prototype.
Although Bialoom is in pre-revenue stage, their solution has been accepted by potential buyers and end users in four different European countries.
One of their biggest achievement is having a positively-reviewed patent application filed in countries covering 85% of the global markets. In addition, Bialoom has secured €1 million in grants for R&D and prototype development.
Connection with InvestHorizon
“InvestHorizon helped us challenge our business plan and assumptions and better define our value proposition,” concludes Dr. Dimitris Tsiokos.