Q-linea’s history can be divided into three different phases based on which products that were the Company’s focus of development at the time.
In the first phase, Q-linea developed its own prototypes and complex systems for detecting biological warfare agents (such as anthrax and smallpox) and supplied systems to the Swedish and French Armed Forces. These systems produced top-rate results in realistic field studies.
The technology was based on molecular identification and the Company still has access to this special technology for bacterial ID (known as padlock probes). As opposed to generally used technologies (such as PCR ), the Company’s technology facilitates massive parallelisation (simultaneous comparisons) of a vast number of analyses. This technology is licenced within relevant fields by the Company and has extensive intellectual property rights protection.
In 2012, the Company made a strategic decision to redirect its focus and instead develop IVD systems for infectious diseases. Q-linea’s ASTrID project, which ran between 2012 and 2016, aimed to develop a system to be able to diagnose sepsis based on blood samples directly from the patient without waiting for a positive culture. The ASTrID technique was tested in collaboration with Örebro University Hospital on patients with sepsis with very good results.
However, in late 2016, the Company decided to initially focus solely on AST since the market for ID analysis from positive blood cultures significantly changed course between 2010 and 2016, since the use of mass spectrometry and molecular methods for ID analysis had increased. This rapid ID analysis and market adaptation to relatively new technology within the field generated a need for rapid and fully automated AST to match the new ID analyses.