UK-based electronics company Paragraf has unveiled its plans to develop a next-generation of graphene-based, in-vitro diagnostic tests that can deliver results in minutes.

Paragraf is starting a two-year project to create a combined PCT and CRP proof-of-concept test on a single panel.

The company is working with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle Universities to execute the project.

The UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK awarded a £550,000 Biomedical Catalyst grant for the partnership.

Paragraf said that a clinical study of the combined PCT/CRP test will be delivered at MFT’s Diagnostics and Technology Accelerator (DiTA) in mid-2023.

DiTA seeks to meet unmet needs, revolutionise patient care, and increase efficiency within the NHS by promoting the swift translation and implementation of innovative ideas into the health and care system.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2024.

Paragraf Diagnostics business development director Malcolm Stewart said: “This graphene-based diagnostic test is expected to become the first test in the world to give clinicians the ability to identify patients who need an antibiotic treatment within the space of a regular 15-minute clinic appointment.

“It encourages antimicrobial stewardship by giving clinicians the insight into when not to prescribe antibiotics as the test result differentiates viral from bacterial infections.”

Stewart added: “Paragraf will go on to deliver a series of high sensitivity, rapid tests for disease biomarkers in areas including cardiovascular disease, oncology, and infectious diseases.

“The ambition is to develop a comprehensive suite of tests that could be used in almost any environment or healthcare setting.

“Our tests are designed to provide ultra-fast answers to diagnostic challenges and to reach beyond the concept of point of care testing to create a complete diagnostic toolkit at the point of need.”

In March this year, the company raised $60m in Series B investment.