A start-up company spawned by research at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital has been awarded a $1.69 million federal grant for its work to develop a test to diagnose acetaminophen liver injury.
Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics, LLC (ATD) was awarded a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The company has been working on development of a commercial dipstick test that can diagnose acetaminophen-induced liver injury within 20 minutes.
According to the NIH, excessive doses of acetaminophen, which is the main ingredient in Tylenol-containing products, are the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.
Current laboratory tests for acetaminophen overdose provide an accurate diagnosis if the overdose occurred within one to two days prior to testing. The new test being developed by Arkansas researchers will be able to provide conclusive diagnosis for up to seven days following an overdose, so a greater number of patients who develop acetaminophen liver toxicity can be appropriately treated.
“This award will allow ATD to further develop a dipstick for the detection of acetaminophen protein adducts in human blood,” said Laura James, M.D., ATD chief medical officer and professor of pediatrics at the UAMS.
Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics, LLC was founded in 2006 by James and UAMS faculty members Dean Roberts, Ph.D., and Jack Hinson, Ph.D. It received STTR Phase I funding from NIH in 2008 and an equipment grant from NIH in 2010.