Allergies such as hay fever are common all year round and AllergyUK believes that 30-35% of people worldwide suffer from an allergy at some point in their lives.

In the UK alone, up to 50% of children are diagnosed with a food allergy – these, in particular, can be life threatening.

Allergies also result in a huge economic burden: food allergies cost the US $25 billion dollars a year, with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) responsible for the loss of around 10.7 million workdays annually.

Through its unique platform, designed with ease-of-use for both patient and practitioner in mind, Microtest makes cheaper, easier and faster work out of testing for common allergies.

Clocking £490k in revenues in 2015 alone (doubling its 2014 revenues), Microtest has demonstrated that there is significant market demand for its product.

Microtest focuses on B2B sales across the UK and US, targeting health organisations and practitioners as its audience. The company’s Managing Director (US) was part of the team behind the highly successful commercialisation of the EpiPen®.

In general, allergies fall into four categories: respiratory allergies, food allergies, contact allergies and drug allergies. Microtest, together with the majority of clinically accepted blood allergy testing platforms, is focused on respiratory and food allergies.

Microtest is a revenue-generating, B2B allergy management company. It develops diagnostic tests which it offers alongside decision support services: clear test results with instructions for the physician on how to read the data.

The company was originally spun out of Imperial College, London. It is based in London with a wholly-owned clinical testing laboratory in New Jersey (USA) and an allergen development facility in Uppsala (Sweden).

The company’s target customers include physicians, laboratories, accountable care organisations, and other qualified healthcare practitioners.

Microtest has 19 employees and turned over £490,000 in sales in 2015, a 2x increase compared to 2014. It projects revenues of £1 million for 2016 and £5-10 million by 2018.

Microtest has developed a patented allergy testing platform. It’s proprietary immunoassay is ‘multiplexed’, which means it can test multiple slides of patient samples simultaneously, thus reducing costs associated with testing one slide, and hence one allergen, at a time.

This type of testing:

» Generates same day results.

» Requires just five minutes of “hands on” time for the operator.

» Requires only a tiny volume of blood so any patient can be tested.

» Enables the patient to be diagnosed after just one visit, as many allergens can be tested simultaneously, saving time and money for all.

» Minimises risk as there is no liquid handling – just add chips (samples) and reagents (substance used to see if a chemical reaction occurs), and remove them on completion.

The Microtest solution includes the physical instrument, the reagents and the software, which provides easy-to-read visualisations of the results.

To summarise Microtest’s proposition, Microtest:

» Tests for multiple allergies in one go » Which means fewer tests, so cheaper approach overall » Helps GPs interpret results, by providing instructions on how to read test result data

Read more here.