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World Sepsis Day on 13th September: Study on a new, digital pathogen diagnostic tool is evaluated

At least 85,000 people die every year in Germany from Sepsis, the most severe course of an infectious disease - also known commonly as blood poisoning. World Sepsis Day on September 1 3rd draws attention to this. In the case of Sepsis, it is crucial to identify the respective pathogen early and reliably. However, the detection is often not successful with the methods commonly used today. In a maximum of 30 percent of cases, a pathogen is identified using classic blood culture, in sepsis patients who have already been treated with antibiotics often in less than 10 percent of the cases. For this reason, a German-wide project led by the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at Essen University Hospital is investigating how patients can benefit from a new, digital method for identifying pathogens. At the beginning of August 2023, the recruitment phase of this study was completed, earlier than planned and the evaluation of the results started.

DigiSep trial achieves next milestone: Over 200 sepsis patients now included

About a year ago, the recruitment phase of the trial "DigiSep - Optimization of sepsis therapy based on patient-specific digital precision diagnostics" started. Now the project, led by the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at the University Hospital Essen, has reached another important
milestone: since mid-March 2023, half of the planned 410 trial patients have been recruited. Only in February, 43 patients were added, so that the recruitment target can be reached as planned in summer 2023.

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Step 1: Sample collection. For pathogen identification with DISQVER, a single blood sample is sufficient. (Image source: Noscendo)


Step 2: Sample preparation. In the laboratory, the blood samples are prepared for sequencing. (Image source: Noscendo)


Step 3: Sequencing. The cell-free DNA in the blood sample is analyzed and the results are compiled in a sequencing file. (Image source: Noscendo)


Step 4: Bioinformatics evaluation. Algorithms distinguish human from microbial DNA. Microbial DNA is matched against a reference database containing over 16,000 microbes – including more than 1,500 described pathogens. Bacteria, DNA viruses, parasites and fungi can thus be detected. (Image source: Noscendo)


Step 5: Communication of results. The DISQVER evaluation is digitally available to the clinic and laboratory with one click – at the latest 24 hours after receipt in the laboratory. (Image source: Noscendo)

Dr. Philip Stevens,
Chief Executive Officer

Dr Philip Stevens is co-founder and CEO of Noscendo GmbH. As bioinformatician, Dr Stevens earned his PhD at the Max F. Perutz Lab (MFPL) in Vienna, a research centre attached to the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna at the Vienna BioCenter. Together with Silke Grumaz and Kai Sohn, head of the Innovation Field In-vitro Diagnostics at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), he developed DISQVER, a software platform for rapid pathogen identification. In 2018 the MIT Technology Review recognised Philip Stevens as ‘Innovator with the Most Social Impact 2018’, and as an ‘Innovator under 35 – Germany’. In 2019 MIT awarded him the ‘Innovator under 35 – Europe’ prize. (Image source: Noscendo)

Dr. Silke Grumaz,
Chief Scientific Officer

Dr Silke Grumaz studied biology at Hohenheim University in Stuttgart. Having completed her doctorate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), Dr Grumaz has continued to work at the Institute since 2013 researching the subject of diagnostics based on next-generation sequencing. She is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Noscendo GmbH. (Image source: Noscendo)

Dr. Peter Haug,
Chief Strategy Officer

As co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Dr Peter Haug is responsible within Noscendo for business development and the company’s strategic positioning. After completing his doctorate in chemistry and studying business management, he built up a contract manufacturing group with a turnover of more than EUR 250 million and 1,500 employees from plants at AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb and Roche. As a Founding Angel, since 2011 he has supported technically oriented teams from various research institutions in launching innovative start-ups in the Life Sciences sector, and particularly in diagnostics. (Image source: Noscendo)

Dr. Marcus Benz,
Chief Operating Officer

Dr Marcus Benz, COO (Image source: Noscendo)

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