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Dianox - addressing an overlooked epidemic

Denne idé er en del af 360 Grader Prisen 2019

23. juni 2019

Hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death in the world with almost 2 million people dying from it every year. Many cases of hepatitis are treatable and some even curable, but to do so one needs to be tested for the virus. Even though hepatitis is a global epidemic very few people get tested for it.

Only 10% of people living with hepatitis have been diagnosed. There is a clear lack of accessible early diagnostic tools. All current hepatitis tests require trained medical staff, which means the need for anonymity is overlooked. The ability to test anonymously is critical to avoid the stigma of having an incurable and highly contagious virus that can be sexually transmitted. Depending on the region, being diagnosed with hepatitis by a doctor can result in getting fired from your job, and even being ostracized from your community. 

We have designed an accessible, and cheap alternative to the current painstaking process of testing for hepatitis. We are developing a user friendly saliva based self-test, which makes it quick and easy to screen broad populations for hepatitis.

There are a number of advantages to using saliva instead of blood as a diagnostic tool as saliva is non-invasive, safe to administer at home as there are no needles, and does not require medical staff. By utilizing saliva, we can also address the most critical need of patients, specifically the need for an anonymous test.

The most interesting markets are Africa and Asia-Pacific and the opportunity represented here is worth DKK 10 billion and is even a target of the WHO and the UN’s SDGs to combat hepatitis in these regions.

We have already talked to experts at the UN, the Institute of Human Rights and the Obama Foundation to validate our solution. Our company is established and we will spend the next 2 years in a lab to mature the technology.