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Baltimore biotech company works to protect women's health

From pregnancy to postmenopause, Astek Diagnostics is working to protect women in every stage of life.

The medtech startup, which is located in the UM BioPark, is developing an innovative technology to detect bacterial infections in urine, also known as urinary tract infections (UTI). These infections are commonly found in pregnant and postmenopausal women, often due to changes in the immune system.

"Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more frequently found in women. While UTIs are less frequent in men, they can still occur, although they are often attributed to different causes,” explained Mustafa Al-Adhami, PhD, CEO of Astek Diagnostics.

Being located in the UM BioPark allows Astek to work in the lab at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where it tests approximately 10 patients per week. With help from this testing, Astek recently completed the pilot study 

for its device – the Jiddu – which can identify a UTI bacterial infection and its antibiotic match in less than an hour.

The study analyzed 150 samples, revealing a 95 percent sensitivity for identifying urinary tract infections and 92 percent specificity for determining an antibiotic treatment.

Astek is aiming for a market launch within 18 months, targeting urology offices as the initial deployment. The company’s ultimate ambition is to see the Jiddu adopted in healthcare facilities nationwide, ensuring comprehensive UTI patient care across the board.

Read the full story from the Maryland Department of Commerce.