Mylab develops point of care device for newborn screening

Pune-based Mylab Discovery Solutions has developed a point of care (PoC) device for screening new-born children for seven illnesses. The company claims that tests carried out through their device MyNeoShield can provide results within 4 hours on the spot compared to traditional techniques that take up to 24 hours post sample receipt. The illnesses the seven tests cover, if detected early, can effectively prevent mental retardation, mortality and lifelong illnesses.

"By making screening faster and more accessible, we aim to save lives and ensure that every child has the opportunity for a healthy and promising future," Hasmukh Rawal, co-founder and managing director of Mylab, says.

According to the company, new-born screening has been a complex process, involving the collection of samples from new-borns, their transportation to centralised testing centres, and a wait time of up to a day or more for results. This time-consuming process posed significant logistical challenges, especially in remote or underserved areas because the doctors only have a window of 48 hours to take any action. Additionally, the high cost of specialised equipment made it difficult for smaller healthcare facilities, like nursing homes, to offer these critical tests.

The seven tests which are done for new-born screening globally are G-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (an inherited condition that can lead to severe anaemia and jaundice when triggered by specific medications or infections), Galactosemia (a condition, where infants struggle to metabolise galactose, a sugar found in breast milk and formula), Phenylketonuria (a metabolic disorder that can result in intellectual disabilities due to the inability to break down phenylalanine), Biotinidase Deficiency (a condition that affects the body's ability to process biotin, a B vitamin essential for various bodily functions), 17-Hydroxyprogesterone (it detects and evaluates congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), a condition characterised by decreased adrenal cortisol and aldosterone and increased androgen production), Immunoreactive Trypsinogen (screens for cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic condition affecting the lungs and digestive system and TSH (test for congenital hypothyroidism, a condition in which thyroid gland may be completely absent, or it may be too small or in the wrong place. In some cases, the thyroid may be normal-sized or even large).

Mylab states that its Point-of-Care Device for Newborn Screening will be available commercially from November 2023. The company also plans to take the device to global markets with its partners.

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