Sponsored: Pioneered in Utah – The value of innovative diagnostics

Paid advertisement by bioMérieux.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated there is tremendous clinical value associated with having fast, accurate, and easy-to-use diagnostics as close to the patient as possible. The newly developed, FDA-cleared, and CLIA-waived BIOFIRE® SPOTFIRE® system by bioMérieux, brings the power of PCR testing directly to point-of-care facilities, such as urgent care clinics among many others. This changes everything. For the first time, outpatient clinics can provide patients with results in 15 minutes for a suspected common respiratory infection, enabling clinicians to administer optimized and data-driven antibiotic therapy.

The core technology behind SPOTFIRE® is based on methods developed by Dr. Carl Wittwer and Dr. Jared Farrar at the University of Utah and patented in 2021. Wittwer and Farrar discovered how to speed up PCR testing and make the diagnostic tool more accessible outside of the hospital laboratory. This kind of innovation represents one of the core pillars of bioMérieux’s growth strategy, rooted in longstanding entrepreneurial tradition. In 2014, bioMérieux acquired Utah-based BioFire Diagnostics, Inc. Since then, the company has heavily invested in its local operations, including a new headquarters facility and a major manufacturing center.

Differentiating between a viral or bacterial cause for a respiratory infection is valuable because the results can help healthcare providers decide how best to treat a patient and reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in their practices at the same time. The improper use of antibiotics fuels the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR occurs when bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites mutate over time and no longer respond to existing medicines. The most recent evidence shows that roughly 1.27 million deaths were directly attributable to AMR and nearly 5 million deaths were associated in some way with AMR in 2019.

Without effective antibiotics, every infection has the potential to become life-threatening. According to the CDC, 80 to 90% of all human antibiotic use happens in outpatient settings and 30 to 50% of those antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary or inappropriate. “We are proud to deliver such an innovative syndromic testing technology at the point of care. We believe the BIOFIRE® SPOTFIRE® solution is a real game changer in patient care, allowing physicians to give patients an accurate and rapid diagnosis, using only one test during the actual patient visit,” said Pierre Boulud, Chief Executive Officer of bioMérieux.

As a family-owned company since 1963, bioMérieux has grown to become a world leader in the field of in vitro diagnostics and is proud to be a part of the innovative business community found across Utah. With its North American headquarters facility in Salt Lake City, the bioscience firm has nearly 3,500 local employees driven daily by an unrelenting commitment to improve public health worldwide. Eighty percent of bioMérieux’s R&D budget is dedicated toward bringing game-changing solutions to the market, like SPOTFIRE®, to assist healthcare professionals identify infections quickly, ensuring optimal patient care, and fighting against the threat of AMR.

1. Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators. Global burden of bacterial antimicrobial resistance in 2019: a systematic analysis [published correction appears in Lancet. 2022 Oct 1;400(10358):1102]. Lancet. 2022;399(10325):629-655. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(21)02724-0 
2. Fleming-Dutra KE, Hersh AL, Shapiro DJ, et al. Prevalence of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions among U.S. ambulatory care visits, 2010–2011. JAMA 2016;315:1864–73. icon