Atlas Genetics has been awarded a £2 million grant by Innovate UK for a project that aims to support the adoption of its io rapid diagnostic platform into UK sexual health clinics.

The io system is a molecular diagnostic platform for the ultra-rapid diagnosis of a broad range of infectious diseases that offers a sample-to-answer time of 30 minutes making it possible to carry out testing in primary care clinics.

The project will bring together the firm, health economics consultancy Aquarius Population Health and the Applied Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Unit (ADREU) at St George’s University of London, for research into diagnostic pathways within sexual health and the benefits of the introduction of point-of-care testing.

The parties will work on the design of a digital value proposition tool, with the aim of helping sexual health clinics in commission and adopt the diagnostic platform.

The two-year, Phase II SBRI contract will also enable assessment of the io rapid diagnostic platform in several UK sexual health clinics and assist the development of Atlas Genetics’ Multi-STI test - a novel multi-pathogen test for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoea, Trichomonas vaginalis and Mycoplasma genitalium - ahead of clinical trials.

“This is a highly exciting and innovative approach to better understand and overcome the often complex and substantial challenges to getting cutting-edge technology adopted into the NHS,” said ADREU director.

“We believe that there are real benefits to using the io rapid diagnostic platform as patients will be able to receive the appropriate treatment immediately and thereby reduce onward transmission, and ultimately save the NHS time and money.”