Brisbane, Australia. July 20, 2010. Athlomics Pty Ltd, an Australian molecular diagnostics company, in collaboration with
Mater Pathology today announced the launch on June 30, 2010, of the world’s first immune system gene expression test
for the diagnosis of severe infections, commonly known as sepsis. The Australian launch is the first major step in the
Company’s plan to offer SeptiCyte® technology to the global medical community.
Multi-centre clinical trial data showed the test, known as SeptiCyte® Lab, was successful in diagnosing sepsis with a high
performance1 within three hours of receiving samples.
Athlomics Chief Executive Officer Dr Roslyn Brandon said the decision to develop SeptiCyte® Lab resulted from
interactions with critical care clinicians, surgeons and oncologists who stressed the importance of earlier diagnosis of
“A relatively quick test such as SeptiCyte® Lab will empower clinicians to more aggressively treat sepsis,” Dr Brandon
“Combined with standard clinical assessments, it will allow a more complete picture of the disease and potentially be
used to individualise patient care and reduce the need for long term antibiotics use.
Brisbane’s Mater Health Services Director of Pathology, Professor Deon Venter, said he was excited by the potential life-
saving capabilities of the SeptiCyte® test.
“Currently one third of patients who contract severe sepsis are likely to die from the disease. It is the highest non-
coronary cause of death in Intensive Care Units,” Professor Venter said.
“The gold standard diagnostic for sepsis is currently microbial culture which only provides a result in about half the cases
of suspected sepsis; it is slow and prone to false positives and negatives,” Professor Venter said. “With SeptiCyte® Lab
we aim to deliver results within three hours of receiving samples, with extremely high accuracy.”
Royal Brisbane & Womens’ Hospital’s Professor Jeff Lipman said SeptiCyte® Lab was a significant advance because of its future potential to monitor severe sepsis patients and detect sepsis in patients at risk.
“Sepsis is caused by the body's response to infection and is the abnormal response of the immune system of the
patient—frequently leading to septic shock and death. A quick diagnosis can be crucial.” Professor Lipman said.
Associate Professor Jeffrey Presneill and Dr John Morgan, Senior Specialists, Intensive Care Unit, Mater Health Services,
Brisbane, Australia, said: "This simple pathology test shows great promise in the management of patients with
potentially life-threatening microbial infection. Such individuals often develop their illness within hours, and deteriorate
“The Athlomics SeptiCyte® assay is designed to provide individualized diagnostic information to guide clinicians caring
for such critically-ill patients, at a time when early intervention could change outcome."
Performance is measured by the area under a receiver operator curve (AUC), which varies from 85% to 95% depending o the clinical comparisons being performed.
Sepsis, a usually fatal medical condition caused by the body’s response to infection, affects 5 to 10% of all hospital
patients leading to an increase of about $5 billion in US healthcare costs annually. The rate of death from severe sepsis
ranges from 30 to 50% despite advances in critical care. In the US, approximately 750,000 cases of severe sepsis occur
each year, at least 250,000 of which are fatal. It is well accepted that better clinical outcomes are achieved when
treatment is begun immediately after diagnosis. Babies, elderly and those with weakened immune systems are most
likely to get sepsis. But even healthy people can become deathly ill from it. The cost of treating septic patients in ICU can
add $5,000 or more per day to a patient’s bill, where treatment lasts at least two days and often more than 20 days.
Since one in eight ICU patients are at risk for sepsis, the sepsis healthcare costs in the United States exceed $17 billion
About SeptiCyte® Lab
Athlomics’ SeptiCyte® Lab test is a multiplex molecular method for diagnosing sepsis using the patient’s ‘host response’.
The test translates the complex signals occurring in the cells of the immune system into an objective score indicating the
likelihood of the patient having sepsis. SeptiCyte® testing enables clinicians to diagnose sepsis earlier, and act upon this
diagnosis with more certainty. The test could potentially also be used for regular monitoring of patients over time, in
order to assess the response to treatment. The clinical value of SeptiCyte® testing was demonstrated in a multi-centre,
blinded clinical trial. SeptiCyte® Lab was successful in distinguishing sepsis from other forms of systemic inflammation
with a performance of 85 to 95% (p<0.01)2. The test is currently offered through the Mater Pathology Services and
requires 5 ml of whole blood in PreAnalytiX PAXgene™ tubes. Options for paediatric and neonatal use are currently being
Athlomics commenced business in 2006 in Brisbane, Australia. Its business development office is now based in Seattle,
WA, USA, where it has a wholly-owned US subsidiary, ImmuneXpress Inc. Athlomics’s broader technology is designed for
the diagnosis and monitoring of immune system health and wellness. Using a sub-set of its patented blood immune
system biomarkers, Athlomics is initially focusing on sepsis, a highly complex disease process for which no single
biomarker is ever likely to be useful. Clinical trials are currently underway to determine the value of SeptiCyte®
technology in the continuous monitoring of sepsis patients and their immune system’s response to therapy.
Dr Roslyn A. Brandon
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Athlomics Group of Companies
AU Cell: +61 419 127 683
US Cell: +1 206 351 2662