Innovate bristol Volume 1

Page 176



ELEVATOR PITCH FluoretiQ is the brainchild of husband-and-wife founders Dr. Neciah Dorh and Josephine Dorh. Originally from St. Lucia, Neciah met his wife Josephine, an ex–oil and gas engineer from Cameroon, whilst they were both studying at the University of Bristol.

OUR STORY “The idea really came together in a meeting arranged by Dr. Andy Collins (QTEC, or Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre) with Prof. Carmen Galan and Dr. James Spencer (University of Bristol)”, recalls Dr. Dorh. Each side held complementary pieces of the solution and in the true spirit of collaboration, a new method for quickly identifying bacteria was born. Guided by Professor Martin Cryan, also from Bristol University, FluoretiQ was founded to solve a problem that costs thousands of lives and millions of pounds, the rapid identification of bacteria which will lead to better antibiotic stewardship—saving time, saving money, and ultimately saving lives. We have all been there. You don’t feel well; you go to the doctor who takes a blood or urine sample and sends it to a lab for analysis. In the absence of knowing exactly what bacteria is causing the illness, the doctor prescribes a broadspectrum antibiotic. A few days later the test results are back, and the doctor is then able to prescribe a more specific antibiotic to deal with your infection. Sadly, during this waiting period, symptoms can become much worse and many patients are admitted to hospital. In the UK alone we spend over £150 million each year on additional bed days due to slow diagnosis, and over half a million of us die from super-bug infections each year.

MEET OUR TEAM (From Left to Right) Maria Garcia Flores (Organic Chemist), Samuel Guthrie (Data Scientist), Dr. Neciah Dorh (Chief Executive Officer), James Preece (Product Manager), Josephine Dorh (Chief Technical Officer), Mat Kyriakides (Biochemist) and Dr. Sandra Medina Villar (Senior Chemist)

Enter Neciah and Josephine with a vision to revolutionise bacterial diagnosis with their startup company FluoretiQ.

The ultimate goal for FluoretiQ is to have a point-of-care QUANTEF in every doctor’s surgery where a nurse takes the patient sample, pops it into a desktop QUANTEF that advises on the best course of antibiotics, while the patient waits just a few minutes.

Using quantum-enhanced technology as their platform, the FluoretiQ team have devised a method to identify a bacterial species in fifteen minutes flat, over 200 times faster than today’s method.

The market for QUANTEF is large, globally $5 billion, and FluoretiQ intends to address that market by attracting the attention of a global strategic partner that will help with commercialisation and distribution. Already attracting attention with its ground-breaking technology, FluoretiQ has won awards from LaunchGW as the people’s choice for ‘Best Science Startup’ and is currently nominated for an OBN award in the ‘Best Medtech Startup’ category.

The product line of analysers, codenamed QUANTEF, is initially aimed at laboratories, enabling them to radically improve turn-around time. Around the size of a laser printer, the high-throughput devices are being designed for the global mass market.