This safeguards the technology at the heart of the device that offers a non-invasive method of monitoring diabetes.
The award offers “broad coverage” of the intellectual property and “has been some years in the making”, said a “delighted” Raymond Akers, the company’s co-founder and chief scientific officer.
Ketones are acids that have the potential to build up in the body causing a condition referred to as ketosis.
The company is the first to come up with a simple but effective method of detecting ketones that show up in blood and breath first before being present in urine.
The BreathScan monitor offers a quick alternative to blood tests for sufferers of both type-one and type-two diabetes, but also gives Akers access to a huge weight management market.
The body lapses into ketosis when it is burning off fat on certain diets – the current tests use strips and sticks to test urine.
The company already has patent protection for its breakthrough product in the US.
Diabetes is such a huge problem in the US that over half total diagnostic spend goes on monitoring the disease.
Take your breath away
Many of the products Akers is developing use biomarkers in the breath to work their magic.
They range from a rapid lung cancer detector through to a device that measures HDL, LDL and total cholesterol levels instantly.
And there are a number that have “blockbuster potential”, according to the company, including one for the alcohol levels of car drivers.
Last year, it reported good progress with two new breath tests launched at the World Congress on Anti‐Ageing Medicine.
Using the BreathScan technology, KetoChek and OxiChek will address this growing demand in the “weight loss and anti-ageing markets."
Consumers use the two tests with a bluetooth-enabled reading device, BreathScan Lync, to monitor trends in their critical metabolic processes.
Suppliers of nutritional supplements and diet plans and health coaches in fitness centres would also be able to monitor clients more effectively.
OxiChek measures oxidative stress, more commonly known as free radicals, in the body and is the only device of its kind on the market.
Cardiac, cancer and arthritic diseases require the monitoring of free radical levels, something that Akers said can be done with its system on any smartphone or mobile.
KetoChek, aimed at serious athletes and dieters, assesses if the user is in the optimal fat-burning state for weight loss, or ketosis.
This state of ketosis is the aim of many low carbohydrate diets and endurance athletics.
Akers said its test was the only disposable, breath-based ketone detection device on the market.
HIT test going great guns
Shares in Akers have doubled this year as sales of its heparin allergy test as its commercial push gathers momentum.
Again, it has the only rapid test approved by the US and EU to detect this potentially fatal allergy to the widely used blood thinner.
US patent protection granted
HIT reverses the effect of heparin and turns it into a clotting agent, which is clearly very dangerous.
Millions of patients around the world take heparin each year and between 1% and 5% of those patients receive a HIT diagnosis.
Most at risk are patients undergoing major cardiac or orthopaedic surgical procedures.
Presence in all key markets
Akers’ HIT test now has a presence in every major diagnostic market after inking agreements for India, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia last year.
By the end of 2016 the product could be in 500 US hospitals.
Beijing-based Novotek meanwhile has exclusive sales and marketing rights for PIFA Heparin/PF4 Rapid Assay products in China.
There are estimated to be 12mln patients who are prescribed heparin in China and with 1-5% of patients developing HIT the potential demand is for up to 0.6mln tests per annum, it adds.
--updates for European patent award in November-