Of a mind for ‘open innovation’

Philips enters collaboration with Janssen on handheld blood test to validate neuropsychiatric disorders

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AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands—Royal Philips has entered into a multiyear development agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. to develop a handheld blood test that gives doctors a tool to improve the care of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders.
The collaboration combines Philips’ expertise in point-of-care testing and monitoring applications for the hospital and the home with Janssen’s strength in discovering and developing innovative solutions to treat brain disorders. Philips will be responsible for the development and manufacturing of the handheld test, which will be based on Philips’ Minicare system currently under development. Janssen will be responsible for the clinical studies to validate the test, as well as the commercialization of the final product.
“The collaboration with Janssen is a great example of how Philips operates what we call our ‘open-innovation business model,’ combining Janssen’s strength in neuroscience with the biosensor technology in our Minicare I-20 system,” says Marcel van Kasteel, general manager of Philips Handheld Diagnostics. “We have forged a mutually exclusive collaboration with Janssen as far as the neuropsychiatric disorder application is concerned, but the application potential of our Minicare system goes far beyond this, enabling us to explore a range of different opportunities with other companies in the pharmaceutical industry.”
Philips Handheld Diagnostics is an entrepreneurial team within Philips Healthcare that is helping to spearhead change in integrated patient care and leading the development of Minicare 1-20. Together with key strategic partners like Janssen, Philips is developing dedicated assays to create a suite of specific blood tests that could ultimately provide physicians with accurate blood test information near the patient to support real-time decision-making.
“Our technology can play an important role in the management of chronic diseases in the hospital and the home,” according to Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “Better care for patients with neuropsychiatric disorders is a key driver to improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs. The Minicare system, consisting of the analyzer and application-specific cartridges and software, can be tailored to a wide range of other pharmaceuticals.”
The blood test will be based on Philips’ Minicare I-20 system for immunoassays, which consists of a handheld analyzer, dedicated software and a single-use, disposable cartridge containing the application-specific test. Based on Philips’ proprietary biosensor technology, the Minicare I -20 system is being developed to detect multiple target molecules at low concentrations within the same blood sample and to show the results on the analyzer display within minutes.
“It is increasingly important that clinicians can make early diagnosis of, for example, life-threatening disease or monitor patient compliance on drug treatment, so that chronic conditions can be more effectively managed,” van Kasteel explains. “Healthcare budgets are scrutinized ever more closely, including the cost of diagnosis, drug treatment and the effectiveness of patient care.”
He adds, “The goal of our collaboration with Janssen is to provide doctors with an additional source of information that they can use to enhance care of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. The handheld blood test is intended to be used by care providers at the point of care and is designed to detect certain target molecules in the blood of patients with a specific neuropsychiatric disorder.”
By having a handheld diagnostic device, the care provider can monitor the patient far more easily and in a variety of settings, which is particularly important with vulnerable patients, according to van Kasteel. Providers may be able to assess more accurately how well the patient is managing treatment and identify if the patient needs additional support.
“Near-patient diagnostics like Minicare have the potential to revolutionize the way clinicians diagnose disease and determine intervention. In some cases, this could be in a home setting when caring for the elderly or those with chronic disease,” van Kasteel says. “At the triage stage in the emergency department, being able to rule in or rule out a potential heart attack may be critical to a positive patient outcome.”
He concludes that “The potential for near-patient testing is far-reaching, and not just in the developed countries. In emerging markets and the Third World, assessing drug compliance or diagnosing potentially fatal disease, for example, from only a small volume of blood by means of a handheld device, may well have the greatest impact on saving lives.”

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