MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present GBDbio with the 2014 Visionary Innovation Leadership Award for Improving Healthcare Access Globally for its revolutionary TB REaD™ point-of-care (POC) diagnostic for tuberculosis (TB). This groundbreaking product is being developed to offer cutting-edge medical efficacy and quality, while remaining accessible to low-resource communities by being extremely affordable and portable. GBDbio has uniquely paired the technology with a robust business model based on exceptionally low production costs. The result is a double-bottom-line solution that is primed to find rapid uptake in its target markets.
In GBDbio's target markets, sporadic electricity, high temperatures, water shortages, and a poorly trained workforce constrain healthcare innovation and delivery. Regions such as Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East continue to report high numbers of TB deaths, despite it being a highly treatable disease. The cost burden of the disease is as overwhelming as the social burden, as the lack of screening options result in late diagnosis and treatment as well as overuse of more expensive diagnostic approaches.
Acknowledging all these challenges, GBDbio is developing the world's first POC diagnostic for TB by employing "'Constraint-Based Innovation." This model of product development allows the company to embed features that benefit countries underserved by healthcare. The TB REaD™ POC's scheme combines ease-of-use, rapidity, efficacy, healthcare worker safety, and an environment-specific design. In contrast, most competing diagnostic products are designed for markets with ample healthcare training, easy access to advanced laboratory capabilities, wealth, and environmental stability.
"GBDbio's novel technology leapfrogs the need to perform time-intensive bacteria cultures or costly yet inaccurate molecular tests by leveraging a custom chemical that interacts with an enzyme released by the TB bacteria," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Polina Feldman. "This solution offers higher ease-of-administration, rapid results via a fluorescent signaling system and low production costs."
Its smart business model enables the company to price the product such that both public and private purchasers (the government, lab chains, doctor's offices and informal providers) will find it attractive. Today, more than 75 million patient evaluations per year occur globally, and this number continues to grow.
Interestingly, GBDbio's success with the TB REaD™ POC diagnostic is a result of three major global shifts. The first is a higher focus of major charitable foundations worldwide on healthcare; the second is the increasing demand for both financial and social returns from funders; and the last is the strong growth in diagnostics in emerging markets.
The heavily fragmented and highly constrained markets targeted by the POC TB product have made it imperative for GBDbio to focus on operational and strategic excellence. Indeed, regulatory agencies in GBDbio's target regions have begun pushing for significant improvements in quality control standards due to the surfeit of poor quality products that are pushed into their markets.
"Unlike companies that are forced to cut corners in order to achieve extreme affordability, GBDbio is building a product that meets first-world expectations of quality and delivery using low-cost components and thoughtful designs," noted Feldman. "Furthermore, GBDbio has built strong relationships with key players such as the Wellcome Trust, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to pave the way for success in the markets they serve."
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated a forward-thinking ability to leverage global Mega Trends and integrate their vision into processes that achieve strategic excellence. The award recognizes the efficacy of the recipient's innovative process and the impact it has on business and society at large.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
GBDbio is an early stage biotechnology company whose mission is to develop, manufacture and distribute diagnostics that address huge needs in the global infectious disease market. The company's first product in development for Tuberculosis, called the TB REaD™ POC assay, utilizes a ground-breaking biophotonic detection platform called Reporter Enzyme Fluorescence developed by researchers at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and Stanford University. This technology and the TB REaD™ POC assay have been developed with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics. The company has offices in Temple, Texas and Daresbury, England. For more information, please visit www.gbdbio.com, or contact Michael T. Norman at [email protected].
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