Partnership boost for vital medical research

A community pharmacy and ODx Innovations have come together to speed up development of a ground-breaking technology designed to help tackle antibiotic resistance in global healthcare.

The partnership will see Lochardil Pharmacy in Inverness serve as a sample collection point for volunteers enrolled in clinical research. The research is critical to growing employment at the ODx facility on Inverness Campus and obtaining regulatory approval for their medical technology, a rapid test, aimed at supporting appropriate prescribing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).

Across the EU, 33,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections1. The ODx test can help decide whether treatment is needed or not, reducing antibiotic misuse. If treatment is needed, it can help medical staff chose the most effective antibiotic much faster than the standard culture and sensitivity.

Pharmacy manager, Lisa MacPherson said: “We recognise the value of the research and it is exciting to be able to collaborate with ODx.

“At the moment if someone has a suspected UTI an antibiotic will be prescribed, and a sample sent for testing. It can then take up to three days for the results to come back and confirm whether the prescription given was the right one.

“It would make a massive difference for a patient to be able to get the right antibiotic after an hour, and not three days. With a UTI, especially in older patients, your condition can deteriorate very quickly. It is really important to get the right treatment as soon as you can.”

Welcoming the partnership ODx Chief Technology Officer, Dr Ben Wicks said: “It is a tremendous boost to our work to have the support of pharmacies and the NHS to secure these vital samples from willing patients who suffer from UTIs.  Over 13,000 tests for UTIs are performed in the Inverness area each year. We hope ODx technology will make a really positive impact for people in the Highlands, Islands & Moray who are supporting our development work. By collaborating locally, we can make a difference globally.

“Lochardil are established as a friendly community pharmacy and recently won Community Pharmacy of the Year at the 2020 Scottish Pharmacy Awards demonstrating their commitment to their local residents and businesses. We are thrilled to be working with their team.”

ODx established its base at Inverness Campus in August 2019, with £1.75m investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). In July, ODx announced 60 new jobs were being created to further develop their medical technology.

John Mitchell, director of Lochardil Pharmacy said: “It’s great that research and development which could make a difference globally, is being carried out here in Inverness. These are difficult times, so it is good to see ODx thrive and help create jobs.

“We are delighted to be part of the effort to address this important need.” /