News Article

Tibbetts Awards 2012 - The Best in the SBIR Program
Date: Jan 01, 2012
Source: Tibbetts ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics LLC of Little Rock, AR

Established in 2006 based on research done at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children's Hospital, Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics (ATD) is developing a rapid point-of-care diagnostic dipstick test for detecting acetaminophen poisoning in patients. According to the NIH, excessive doses of acetaminophen, which is the main ingredient in Tylenol-containing products, are the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. Acetaminophen overdose accounts for approximately 50% of all cases of acute liver failure in adults and 15% of all cases of acute liver failure in children.

Dr. Laura James, chief medical officer for ATD and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) founded ATD along with UAMS faculty members Jack Hinson, PhD and Dean Roberts, PhD. The company won a 2-year Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2008, an equipment grant through the NIH in 2010 and a 3-year NIH STTR Phase II award in 2011.

ATD has been developing of a commercial dipstick test that can diagnose acetaminophen-induced liver injury within 20 minutes. Current tests for acetaminophen overdose provide positive (conclusive) results if the overdose occurred within 1-2 days prior to the patient's hospital admission. ATD's test can provide positive results for up to 7 days following acetaminophen overdose, so that a greater number of patients who have overdosed on acetaminophen can be accurately diagnosed and receive treatment to reduce the potential extent of liver damage.

ATD is a startup company of UAMS BioVentures, a formal outgrowth of UAMS' interest in translating its research into products that benefit human health. ATD participated in each UAMS BioVentures Equity Roundtable forum from 2008-2011, which permitted exposure of the company's research efforts to investors and other interested members of the life science community. Between 2006 and 2011, ATD was awarded four state-level grants through the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority to support its research and development efforts and preparation for participation in the UAMS BioVentures Equity Roundtable forum.

Since its inception in 2006, ATD has been a client of the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC). Dr. James participated in ASBTDC training courses related to intellectual property protection and SBIR/STTR proposal preparation and regularly met with ASBTDC staff to obtain guidance with the development of proposal applications.

ATD's diagnostic dipstick test can detect cases of acetaminophen liver injury better than existing tests on the market due to its specificity for targeting acetaminophen-related liver injury. Once implemented as a standard diagnostic tool for physicians, ATD's dipstick test will significantly reduce the number of diagnostic tests currently required to determine causes of liver injury. This point-of-care test kit has strong potential for reducing the overall cost of medical care as well as the incidence of liver failure associated with acetaminophen overdose.