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Blinklab Partners with Autism Foundation for Pre-Registration Study

Blinklab (BB1: $0.382) which listed on the ASX last month at $0.20, may have easily gone down the VC funding route, with interest at the same time from the US venture capital sector.



Blinklab (BB1: $0.382) which listed on the ASX last month at $0.20, may have easily gone down the VC funding route, with interest at the same time from the US venture capital sector.

Blinklab is commercializing a test for aiding in the diagnosis and management of patients with autism. CEO Henk-Jan Boele has been working on the technology for 15 years, being a former GP in The Netherlands and a neuroscientist.

The work first started in The Netherlands and then moved to the US to Princeton University, which stands to receive a 1% royalty from any product sales.

Boele said that the signal the company is looking for with the technology is large, measuring not just blinking reactions to stimuli but also head and face movements and the type of vocalization made by the user. The technology, first developed in a laboratory, has been refined to use within a smartphone, a commercial pathway that chairman Brian Leedman has had success resulting in the $180 million sale of ResApp Health to Pfizer.

Other applications of the technology are also expected to extend to management of patients, assessing the effectiveness of different medications on individual patients. Boele is firm that this technology will never replace a doctor but will be used as a diagnostic and treatment aid.

Currently the technology has been developed for i-phones with an android application about six months away.

The company recently announced a partnership with Turning Pointe Autism Foundation to conduct a study with 200 children, half with autism and half without. That study will be used to tweak aspects of the test, such as the intensity of the first audio stimulus, prior to an FDA registration study expected to begin in the second half of this year.

The company is expecting its registration study for the FDA to be completed by mid next year. Boele said that once the technology has been approved, only minor adjustments are allowed (by regulators).

Blinklab's test in autism has achieved a sensitivity of 85% and specificity of 84%. This compares to 52% and 19% respectively for a test from Cognoa (which is a smartphone-based test) and 71% and 81% from EarliTec Diagnostics (not smartphone-based).

Blinklab is capitalized at $38 million.


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