Problem: Nasogastric feeding tubes (NGTs) are routinely utilized in wards and critical care units across the developed world. Misplacement in the lung can be lethal. It is classed as an NHS ‘Never Event’ and the subject of multiple malpractice cases in the US. To minimize risk, official guidelines recommend verification tests be carried out at a higher frequency than is financially and practically feasible if the X-ray procedure is used. Therefore many wards turn to the convenient but somewhat unreliable option of using a pH-test, putting patient safety at risk.

Market: The global market for NGT placement is currently estimated at over £1Bn and is growing at 7% per year in developed countries. Despite continued social pressure to eliminate NGT misplacement, the cost of Chest X-rays is prohibitive, at £3Bn per year in the UK and £16Bn in the US. The only competitor device CorTrak uses electromagnetic technology that additionally requires specific practitioner training. Thus, there i...
Problem: Nasogastric feeding tubes (NGTs) are routinely utilized in wards and critical care units across the developed world. Misplacement in the lung can be lethal. It is classed as an NHS ‘Never Event’ and the subject of multiple malpractice cases in the US. To minimize risk, official guidelines recommend verification tests be carried out at a higher frequency than is financially and practically feasible if the X-ray procedure is used. Therefore many wards turn to the convenient but somewhat unreliable option of using a pH-test, putting patient safety at risk.

Market: The global market for NGT placement is currently estimated at over £1Bn and is growing at 7% per year in developed countries. Despite continued social pressure to eliminate NGT misplacement, the cost of Chest X-rays is prohibitive, at £3Bn per year in the UK and £16Bn in the US. The only competitor device CorTrak uses electromagnetic technology that additionally requires specific practitioner training. Thus, there is a growing market opportunity for NG:Safe to develop a low-cost, practical alternative.

Technology: NG:Safe is a simple, non-invasive bedside diagnostic device based on lateral flow technology and horse radish peroxidase (HRP) colorimetric reactions. A gastric aspirate sample from the NGT is channelled into three microfluidic assays that provide a semi-quantitative measurement of pH and digestive enzyme concentration. A zero to low enzyme concentration readout alerts healthcare practitioners to potential tube misplacement in the lung.

Strategy: NG:Safe has established connections within Cambridge to secure clinical samples required to develop this technology to proof of concept (POC) stage, and has begun discussions to secure IP and potential lab space. POC funding is currently sought for assay development, after which we will seek further non-dilutive funding to take the product through preclinical development in collaboration with the diagnostics consultancy company EG Technology. During clinical development we aim to partner with or wholly license our product to a multinational diagnostics manufacturer such as GSK, Roche or Smith & Nephew.

Social & Economic Impact: NG:Safe will provide valuable information for rapid clinical decision making, and thereby vastly improve patient safety and speed up recovery times for the critically ill. The device will save considerable amounts of nursing and radiographer time, which represents significant additional cost savings.
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