Founded by Sachin Dubey and Usman Khan
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections in humans; globally, there are 150 million reported cases of UTI every year, and it is believed that half of all women will contract UTI once in their lifetime. If left untreated, UTI can trigger kidney damage and sepsis, leading to death. Therefore, timely detection and appropriate medicines can help alleviate the problem. However, in many cases, antimicrobial treatment is initiated before the laboratory results of urine culture are available. This frequent misuse of antimicrobials leads to antimicrobial resistance of uropathogens. Moreover, these tests require a lab and skilled manpower, presenting a grim scenario of rural primary and secondary healthcare centers with severe lack of trained manpower and facilities.
Module Innovations is developing an affordable and innovative diagnostic platform, based on color changing polymers, for rapid microbial detection. USense allows for the visual detection of the presence of 4 specific uropathogens, including E.coli in just 30-60 minutes, a significant reduction from the time required for standard culture testing (2-3 days). Moreover, USense can be deployed without needing a laboratory, trained manpower, electricity and easy to interpret results with colorimetric detection.
The initial work was supported by BIRAC’s BIG grant of 47.29 Lakh and Unitus’s Seed fund of 10 Lakhs. To support subsequent prototype validation studies and product refinement efforts, we invested Rs. 50 Lakh under NSTEDB’s SSS scheme. The company is now looking at raising around 1 crore over the next 12 months to begin pilot studies of USense and bring it into a marketable form, in conjunction with an expansion in the product portfolio and manpower strength of the company. It is open for collaboration with technical institutes, hospitals and government agencies.
Module is expanding its range of affordable and point of care diagnostic platforms with two products: CSense, which will enable screening of cervical cancer by color change visible to the naked eye, and EcoSense, which are strips for colorimetric detection of E.coli in water within 30-60 min; the former product is under development, while the latter is underway.
The market opportunity is huge with the Indian diagnostic market pegged at more than 2.5 billion US$.