North Dakota Patent of the Month – August 2022
Checkable Medical Inc. was born when the founder and mother of 3, Patty Post, decided she was done with the never ending cycle of strep throat. The process was always the same – (a) take work and school off to go the clinic, (b) get a negative on a rapid-test and go home with instructions to drink more fluids and rest, only to be (c) called a few days later with a positive result on a culture-based test and have to return to the clinic for prescription medication.
Post decided there had to be a better way and decided it was time to revolutionize the industry with an at-home diagnosis of Streptococcus infections. The company has since developed and patented an in vitro diagnostic device to make this possible. Along with the patent, the system is undergoing clinical studies in anticipation of an FDA review prior to being made commercially available.
The testing device is designed to identify the presence of an analyte that indicates the presence of Streptococcus bacteria. These analytes include carbohydrate antigens that are unique to Group A Streptococcus bacteria which cause strep throat, impetigo, and other soft tissue infection.
The patient uses a test swab to get a throat sample and places it in the in vitro test device for rapid analysis. When the sample is exposed to an oxidizing agent, it breaks down the cell walls of any antigen containing target bacteria, releasing the analyte. This is achieved by mixing reagents to form nitrous acid and exposing the sample to it. After some mixing, the sample is applied to a lateral flow test strip. If the analyte is present, it causes an indicator to be made visible – just like a pregnancy test or a rapid COVID test. The intention is for families or patients to test at home and use an app which connects directly to a telemedicine portal and prescription providers. This process would cut strep throat diagnostics from hours to minutes, reducing the burden on both the patient and the medical system while preventing the spread of infection at clinics.
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