The 4 Small Diabetes Diagnostics Companies You Overlooked

The global demand for Biosensors in Medical Devices is forecast to reach $16.5 billion by the year 2017, according to a new Global Intelligence Alliance report. Biosensors have been in the developmental phase since early 1990s, and are increasingly finding applications in blood glucose monitoring, drug discovery, drug analysis and whole blood analyzers. Some experts believe large pharmaceutical companies have reached a plateau in market growth. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story, as new companies with disruptive technology have made some significant advancements in 2012.

EKF Diagnostics (LON: EKF), NeuroMetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NURO), PositiveID Corporation (BB: PSID), and Bio Tex, Inc. are four small companies making innovative advancements within the space of diabetes diagnostics. These advancements range from the areas of molecular diagnostics to laser technology.

On March 19, 2012, EKF Diagnostics (LON: EKF) announced a new β-Hydroxybutyrate LiquiColor® kit, which detects blood ketone in plasma and serum specimens. Blood ketone is essential for the identification of complications of diabetes mellitus, as during periods of metabolic acidosis, the concentration of ketone bodies increases in blood and urine due to the lack of sufficient glucose in the cells.

NeuroMetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NURO), a company that researches the diagnosis and treatment of the neurological complications of diabetes, recently showcased a new diagnostic test at the Diabetic Foot Global Conference (DFCon) in Los Angeles. The NC-stat® DPNCheck(TM) is a fast, accurate, and quantitative diagnostic test that is useful in the early detection and monitoring of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), a nerve disease that affects more than half of diabetes patients and can lead to foot ulcers and amputation.

PositiveID Corporation (BB: PSID), an emerging developer of advanced technologies for diabetes management, announced this month that it was awarded a U.S. patent for its Dragonfly(TM) Rapid MDx Cartridge-based diagnostic system. Dragonfly provides the ability to deliver molecular diagnostic results from a sample in under half an hour, and enables accurate diagnostics leading to the potential treatment scenarios at the point of care that are not possible with existing systems.

BioTex is a privately-owned company developing innovative technologies that allow rapid, painless and convenient access to accurate blood glucose readings without the need for blood withdrawal. BioTex has developed an implantable “window to the body” which allows near-infrared radiation to be used to measure blood glucose “non-invasively.” BioTex has also developed a small, transcutaneous, implantable “skin-port” which allows painless and rapid withdrawal of interstitial fluid for glucose monitoring. The company is also currently working on development of an advanced implantable polymer sensor containing glucose sensitive near-infrared fluorescent chemistry.

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