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GeneFirst announces the publication of new health economic evidence...

GeneFirst announces the publication of new health economic evidence showing the potential costs savings of its syndromic multiplexed PCR tests for community-acquired pneumonia.

GeneFirst, an innovator in developing novel technologies for infectious diseases and oncology testing, announced today that a study on the health economic benefits of its highly multiplexed respiratory panels has been published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine. The published study was led by Aquarius Population Health, a UK-based health consultancy firm with expertise in developing economic evidence to support adoption into clinical practice. This work formed part of an larger Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) funded consortium project – RAPID COVID – the aim of which is to develop a syndromic testing strategy for respiratory diseases to include emerging pathogens. The project partners include Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, Hospital Costa Del Sol, Biosistemika and PrimaDiag.

In the RAPID COVID project, GeneFirst developed two PCR-based respiratory panel tests to screen for upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). The high-throughput panels can be used individually or in parallel and have a turnaround time of 5.5 hours. They can replace the use of individual PCR diagnostic tests, such as the PCR test for COVID-19, and include tests for pathogens that might not otherwise be assessed.

The health economics study compared the cost of using standard diagnostic tests with the cost of using either of the GeneFirst panel tests, or both, in the context of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). CAP is a significant global health burden;  in Europe the annual costs associated with hospital admission of patients with CAP have been estimated at around €5.7 billion. Part of these costs can be attributed to the many microbiological diagnostic tests used for CAP patients which typically include culture (of blood, sputum, or bronchoalveolar lavage sample), urinary antigen tests and numerous PCR tests, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

The model was informed using data collected via an online survey. The analysis found that  the use of one or both respiratory panels cost less than standard of care (SoC) testing, while the combination of using both panel tests in parallel cost the least, resulting in cost savings for immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients in the UK, France and Spain. These findings provide evidence that incorporating the GeneFirst respiratory panel tests reduces the average cost of diagnostics for patients admitted to hospitals with CAP, offering valuable insights for decision-makers considering the use of these panel tests in hospital laboratories.

Dr Susie Huntington, Management Consultant, Aquarius Population Health comments:

There are numerous possible benefits to using GeneFirst’s innovative multiplexed PCR tests for diagnostic testing of patients with community-acquired pneumonia – assessing the cost compared to current practice was a good place to start. Presenting the current costs of diagnostics used in the UK, France and Spain, data not typically available in the scientific literature, our model provides compelling evidence that the use of these tests to replace individual molecular tests would provide cost savings.

Dr Winnie Wu, Chief Operations Officer, GeneFirst, comments:

“Health economics is a critical element in the design of any diagnostic test; cost utility and effectiveness should be used, in conjunction with clinical validity data, to inform decision making in a consistent manner. We have been working with Aquarius for the last 3 years to develop the much-needed health economics evidence for adoption of GeneFirst tests into the clinical setting, and we are very pleased to see that there is demonstrable cost savings in using the respiratory panel tests for immunocompromised patients with community acquired pneumonia.”

For more information please contact:

01865 407400

About GeneFirst

GeneFirst Limited is a molecular diagnostics company delivering proprietary NGS and PCR technologies and products in the fields of cancer diagnostics, infectious disease and personalised medicine. GeneFirst offers robust easy-to-use, sensitive, and affordable products to researchers, clinicians and drug companies to enable accurate diagnosis and the delivery of safe, effective and affordable medicines.

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About Aquarius Population Health

Aquarius Population Health was founded by Dr Elisabeth Adams and is based in Kings Cross, London. The multidisciplinary team of expert epidemiologists and health economists, specialise in developing creative ways to explore and solve healthcare problems. They generate independent insight and evidence to support informed decisions that can impact on policy and commercialisation and improve patient care. Aquarius Population Health delivers health research and consultancy for clients and collaborators in the commercial, academic, charity, and government sectors.

For further information visit

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