Sheffield specialist aims to make medical diagnosis more affordable

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Sheffield specialist aims to make medical diagnosis more affordable
LabLogic Systems' Sheffield base

LabLogic Systems, a scientific equipment and software specialist based in Sheffield, is developing Tracer-QC, a “revolutionary” product it says will have a positive impact on medical imaging worldwide.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is an established and rapidly developing medical imaging technique. It uses a radioactive pharmaceutical combined with a PET/CT scanner diagnose many life-threatening conditions – including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, PET scans are costly because expensive equipment and skilled people are required throughout the process, from radiotracer production through to quality control testing and patient injection. Therefore, there are only a small number of facilities within the NHS and worldwide that offer PET imaging.

LabLogic embarked on the Tracer-QC project in 2015 in partnership with US-based company Trace-Ability, Inc. The aim was to create a compact, all-in-one quality control system which would replace an entire laboratory.

Richard Brown, LabLogic MD, said: “An individual PET scan currently costs the NHS anything from £800 to £1,000. With the Tracer-QC, we are not only making the process more efficient and cost-effective but deskilling the entire process.”

In 2016, the Tracer-QC project was awarded $1.8 million from The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), due to it having “the potential to modernise the pharmaceutical manufacturing body of knowledge to support more robust, predictable, and/or cost-effective processes”.

Tracer-QC combines established microplate reader technology, a robotic dispensing arm and a simple user interface to replace an entire quality control laboratory with a single system.

It is believed to be the first product of its kind in the world, leading the way in providing a completely automated solution for the quality control of radiotracers.

Over the next few years, LabLogic said it is keen to make an impact on the global medical imaging landscape, promoting the ‘Made in Sheffield’ brand and reinforcing the city’s position as a centre of innovative research.