Cerneretec is developing a point-of-care paracetamol overdose screening test.


By providing a rapid, reliable and objective dose history, the Company hopes to improve efficiency when identifying patient risk and directing subsequent treatment, therefore minimizing morbidity and mortality. The Company’s ‘Par-Alert’ test is a dual assay that simultaneously measures levels of paracetamol and the liver damage marker alanine transferase (ALT).

Deliberate self-poisoning, usually in the form of a drug overdose is a common presentation in emergency departments. There is a small window of opportunity to diagnose and reverse paracetamol overdose. Patients who have overdosed or taken harmful amounts of paracetamol must be rapidly identified and treated appropriately in what is a time-critical situation. An objective diagnostic test is required as healthcare professionals cannot rely on patient-self reporting which is unreliable.

Laboratory blood tests are currently used to measure paracetamol levels and the extent of patient risk (Royal College of Emergency Medicine Guidelines). These can be costly in themselves and when factoring in staff time and equipment such as needles, syringes, and blood sample bottles, it can prolong the time a patient and healthcare professional wait for results. The Cerneretec rapid test, if successfully developed, is hoping to show results quicker than this, enabling an earlier diagnosis, risk stratification and if appropriate, treatment.


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