U-PACT is a spin-off molecular diagnostics company of the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, The Netherlands with decades of experience in blood platelet biology and diagnostics of bleeding disorders. We develop technology to provide comprehensive tools for accurate assessment of bleeding risk.
Bleeding is a common side effect of chemotherapy in leukemia patients. At present, it is impossible to accurately predict which patient will bleed and which patient will not. As a precaution, hematologists therefore treat all patients with platelet transfusions whenever their platelet count drops below 5% of normal. This is a heavy burden on the healthcare budget of hospitals. More importantly, platelet transfusions are associated with a substantial health risk for the receiving patients and should thus be limited to those patients at risk of bleeding. Clinical trials show that platelet function is a better predictor of bleeding risk than the platelet count. But there is no reliable diagnostic test available that can determine platelet function at low platelet counts. U-PACT is the first to offer a platelet function test, PACT, that addresses this need. With PACT it is now possible to identify leukemia patients at risk of bleeding. This allows tailored transfusion regimens, resulting in a decrease in both patient burden as well as costs for the hospital.
In addition, the PACT is a promising new tool in the diagnosis of platelet function disorders (PFDs). PFDs are highly heterogeneous, inherited or acquired, and characterized by e.g. spontaneous bleedings, easy bruising, menorrhagia, or an extended bleeding time. Despite evident symptoms and a confirmed platelet function defect, the exact cause often remains unclear. A correct diagnosis in patients with a (mild) PFD is important for risk stratification, therapeutic intervention, and quality of life. However, state-of-the-art diagnostic platelet function tests currently available on the market have moderate sensitivity for mild PFDs, are labor-intensive, require a large blood volume and are poorly reproducible. With PACT, U-PACT allows the detection of PFDs by easily discriminating between patients with PFDs and healthy controls.
- Martin Hessing | email@example.com