“It’s sort of like a bar code,” said Sokurenko, a professor of microbiology at the University of Washington.
ID Genomics’ technology consists of a kit that quickly matches the patient’s urine sample with the database, zeroing in on the exact bacteria. It then searches the database to find how that bacteria strain responds to different antibiotics.
The startup conducted a clinical study during 2014 and 2015 at Group Health (now Kaiser Permanente)where it ran its technology in parallel with common prescribing practices.
The study found that ID Genomics’ technology would have reduced the number of times a less effective antibiotic was prescribed by threefold and in some cases fivefold.
ID Genomics, which received a $3 million grant last year from the National Institutes of Health, is planning to apply for Food and Drug Administration approval of its technology in the beginning of 2019.
In the meantime, it has formed a consortium of health centers to share data on bacterial strains in one place, so more doctors can access the information.
Multiple hospitals are already participating, including Harborview and Kaiser Permanente Washington.