Abbott (NYSE:ABT) yesterday announced that through its partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and the TRACK-TBI network, it is ready to begin clinical trials of a point-of-care blood test technology to help quickly assess brain injuries.
The Chicago-area medical device maker and the DoD began their partnership on the testing technology in 2014. Abbott said that it now has more than 120 scientists researching and developing a concussion assessment for its i-Stat Alinity system.
“Developing a blood test for the brain takes robust, proven data and collaboration among the best minds in academia, industry and the public service sectors. This type of blood test could give clinicians more real-time, objective information about what’s happening to the brain, so they can make timely, accurate decisions right at the point of care,” Abbott diagnostics medical director Dr. Beth McQuiston said in a prepared statement.
The blood test currently in development measures GFAP and UCH-L1 proteins which are released from the brain into the blood when the brain is injured. Researchers hope the test will be able to identify individuals affected by a traumatic brain injury within minutes.
“Traumatic brain injury is a significant health issue affecting both active Service Members and Veterans, and we are committed to developing solutions for those impacted by brain injury. Having a portable biomarker technology will give clinicians an objective measure of a Soldier’s brain injury in a matter of minutes and could potentially impact the care they receive when they are evaluated and treated,” U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity neurotrauma and psychological health project management office project manager Krista Caudle said in a press release.
“Whether on the battlefield or in the emergency room, we need quick and accurate information to help assess a person who may have sustained brain injury. Our goal with this partnership is to validate the scientific rigor behind new technologies, like this blood test, and how they can help ensure the best care for our troops and patients,” TRACK-TBI principal investigator Dr. Geoffrey Manley of the University of California, San Francisco, said in prepared remarks.
Last month, Abbott beat the consensus forecast for both its bottom and top lines during the first quarter.