Swiss Company Offers Test for Gut Inflammation Patients Can Administer at Home

Bühlmann, a global calprotectin laboratory headquartered in Switzerland, announced Wednesday the launch of IBDoc®, the first at home in-vitro diagnostic test to measure the fecal inflammation marker calprotectin in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's disease (CD), and Ulcerative colitis (UC).

Bühlmann, a global calprotectin laboratory headquartered in Switzerland, announced Wednesday the launch of IBDoc®, the first at home in-vitro diagnostic test to measure the fecal inflammation marker calprotectin in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease (CD), and Ulcerative colitis (UC).

Eradicating the necessity for patients to physically transport stool samples to the clinic, IBDoc® instead works to combine a stool extraction device called CALEX (a calprotectin test strip) and the IBDoc® smart phone app to read the test result through image processing. This technology provides the avenue for IBD patients to actively participate in managing their disease.

The IBDoc® web portal for managing patient data had been primarily designed to keep confidential patient data safe.

Bühlmann began developing its vision of“patient empowerment and home testing” in 2008, collaborating in a network of high-tech companies specialized in plastic molding, IT, and specialty diagnostics like CALEX®, a Swiss CTI-sponsored venture.

Bühlmann CEO, Thomas Hafen, MD, commented, “Without the excellent network of scientific collaborations and the support of CTI and EU research programs, IBDoc® would not have been possible.”

“IBDoc® offers a level of patient empowerment for IBD patients comparable with what blood sugar home testing did for diabetic patients a generation ago. For this we had to make stool testing as simple as possible,” said Chris Moore, MD, CPO, Bühlmann Laboratories.

According to Christian Reinhard, MD, IBDoc® Product Manager, “The feedback from enrolled patients so far is phenomenal— patients are so motivated and they really like to be in charge and at the same time communicating with their nurse or physician.”

Calprotectin measured in stool is a non-invasive biomarker for gastrointestinal inflammation. It correlates well with lesions and with endoscopic scores of disease activity in both, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Fecal calprotectin is superior to classically used blood biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation and others.

Hafen concluded, “IBDoc® is a milestone for patients, but also a milestone in the still young history of smart phone based clinical applications. Never before has such a sophisticated biologic test system been brought to patients’ homes.”