$3.2M Grant Brings UAMS Overdose Test Closer to Market

$3.2M Grant Brings UAMS Overdose Test Closer to Market
UAMS Dr. Laura James, whose acetaminophen toxicity test is undergoing a final study before she seeks FDA approval. (UAMS)

UAMS on Monday announced that researchers had received a $3.2 million federal grant for the final study of a rapid test for acetaminophen toxicity.

The test, called AcetaSTAT, can detect blood markers for liver injury from acetaminophen overdose in about 20 minutes, UAMS said in a news release. The three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health will support a clinical trial involving multiple centers to evaluate the test’s performance.

Acetaminophen is the most common drug for pain and fever relief. 

Test inventors Dr. Laura James, Jack Hinson and Dean Roberts plan to seek FDA approval for the test after the final study is completed. The three founded Acetaminophen Toxicity Diagnostics LLC in 2006.

The test's performance in previous studies has made James optimistic about its chances for FDA approval, according to UAMS. The test would be the first of its kind approved by U.S. regulators.

Liver disease specialist Dr. William Lee, a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researcher who is a co-investigator on the clinical trial, said the test "provides a reliable yes/no answer as to whether acetaminophen is responsible for the liver injury."

"I look forward to seeing AcetaSTAT being available in any Emergency Department worldwide," he said in the release. "Having the test will ensure that more patients receive the right diagnosis and appropriate treatment."

The test was developed in collaboration with Arkansas Children's Hospital.

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