From its founding in 2008 with three part-time employees located in a sub-let room, Q-linea has seen more than ten years of continuous growth. Q linea is now a publicly traded (Nasdaq Stockholm: QLINEA) company of 100+ employees in two locations including dedicated production facilities.
The early years
Focusing initially on biosecurity applications based on proprietary (non-PCR) technologies for molecular identification of bacteria, Q-linea developed prototypes and complex systems for detecting biological warfare agents (such as anthrax and smallpox). Systems were delivered to the Swedish and French Armed Forces and produced top-rate results in realistic field studies. Key subsystems developed for biosecurity purposes such as CD-format based consumables and high-speed line scanning imaging have subsequently been adapted for use in the ASTar® system.
Entry into diagnostics
Realizing the potential of the technologies available within Q-linea for infectious disease diagnostics, in 2012 the Company made a strategic decision to enter the field for IVD systems for infectious diseases. A partnership with the venture capital company NXT2B enabled long-term funding and uninterrupted technical development, and clinical collaborations were initiated to verify performance. Q-linea´s bacterial ID and phenotypic AST technologies for sepsis diagnosis directly from whole blood were tested in 2016, in collaboration with Örebro University Hospital on patients with sepsis with very good results.
During the following years, a revolution in rapid bacterial ID-techniques from positive blood cultures, among them mass spectrometry, opened a market niche for AST-only systems that could match the speed of these new ID methods. In order to meet the market requirements for rapid results and minimized hands-on time, the product development efforts for Q-linea´s first diagnostic product were subsequently directed towards a pure AST product for positive blood cultures, the fully automated ASTar.
While ASTar is the first Q-linea diagnostic product in development to reach the market, Q-linea has several other disruptive technologies in the pipeline. Q-linea´s bacterial ID and AST technologies for sepsis diagnosis directly from whole blood can be combined into a fully automated sepsis diagnosis system combining both ID and AST, while eliminating the need for prior blood culture. These capabilities are the core of the fully automated ASTrID® system, providing bacterial ID and phenotypic susceptibility results from an unprocessed blood sample within hours from blood draw. Key elements of the ASTrID concept have already been proven clinically in collaboration with Örebro university hospital.
Q-linea also have a technology to utilize the transportation time for blood cultures using portable blood culture cabinets, thereby truly enabling fastest time to result and treatment for all patients with blood infections no matter if you live in the countryside or close to a large hospital.
We believe that our technologies and innovations have the possibility to change the diagnostics of infectious diseases in the future, providing better outcomes for both patients and society.