Drawbridge Health partners with University of Cambridge Researchers for use of OneDraw™️ Blood Collection Device in COVID-19 and Other Clinical Studies

Dec 3, 2020 | Press Releases

Menlo Park, CA, USA – December 3, 2020 – Drawbridge Health and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge (UK) today announced the use of the OneDraw™ Blood Collection Device1 for remote blood sample collection in a large-scale surveillance study currently being conducted to assess the prevalence of previous infection with COVID-19. Because of the restrictions the pandemic has created for normal contact between researchers and research volunteers, remote, non-contact blood collection is critical for delivering fit-for-purpose samples to the clinical testing laboratory in a safe and efficient way.

The study, which was launched in July 2020 and has recruited 4,000 participants, is led by Professor Nick Wareham, Director of the MRC Epidemiology Unit and Chief Investigator of the Fenland COVID-19 Study. The primary aim of this study is to quantify the proportion of people who have been previously infected with COVID-19 in the Fenland cohort, which is broadly representative of the population of Cambridgeshire, a county in the East of England.

The OneDraw Blood Collection Device is being used in the study to obtain remote blood samples from participants for repeated COVID-19 serological testing over a 9-12 month period. The OneDraw device allows study participants to collect blood samples at home, which can then be sent to the clinical testing laboratory for analysis, without the need for face-to-face interaction with a study team member,2 thus minimizing virus exposure and potential spread.

This large-scale surveillance study was initiated out of the positive results obtained from an earlier feasibility study for COVID-19 serological testing that demonstrated the suitability of using the OneDraw device for clinical studies and clinical trials in a real world setting. The OneDraw device was successfully administered by lay users who then mailed the samples to a clinical testing laboratory via the regular postal system. In comparison against venipuncture or fingerstick, the OneDraw device was associated with significantly less reported pain and was the preferred modality of blood draw for 76% of participants.

Based on the demonstrated testing suitability and positive user experience with the OneDraw device, Drawbridge Health and the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge are developing a collaboration in metabolic health, including the evaluation of nutritional biomarkers. Both in research and in clinical care, there is a need for frequent monitoring of metabolic health markers which are linked to future risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The measurement of these markers plus nutritional biomarkers as measures of the dietary determinants of metabolic health, would be enabled by remote blood sample collection using the OneDraw device.

“Through the Fenland COVID-19 study, the OneDraw device has proven to be an innovative and valuable solution for remote blood collection. The Fenland study is lucky to have a very engaged community of research participants, so it’s been heartening to be able to use this technology to continue to work with them when we can no longer see them face to face as we normally would,” said Professor Nick Wareham. “We look forward to partnering with Drawbridge to support our core research activities in metabolic health and nutritional biomarkers by adopting the OneDraw device to enable remote participant monitoring in large-scale clinical and public health studies.”

“Drawbridge Health recognizes the urgent need for better methods of blood sample collection and high quality test results to aid in pandemic mitigation as well as much-needed advancements in the management of metabolic disorders. We are thrilled to advance and expand our partnership with the University of Cambridge,” said Lee McCracken, CEO of Drawbridge Health.

Eddy Garcia

About Drawbridge Health
Founded in 2015 by GE Ventures and GE Healthcare, Drawbridge Health is a healthcare technology company focused on reinventing the blood draw experience, enabling comfortable convenient blood sample collection anytime and anywhere. By integrating engineering, chemistries and modular design, Drawbridge Health has developed a people-friendly system for collecting and stabilizing blood samples, opening new doors to enable access to important health information. For more information, please visit www.drawbridgehealth.com.

University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit
The MRC Epidemiology Unit is a department at the University of Cambridge. It is working to improve the health of people in the UK and around the world.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders present a major and growing global public health challenge. These disorders result from a complex interplay between genetic, developmental, behavioural and environmental factors that operate throughout life. The mission of the Unit is to investigate the individual and combined effects of these factors and to develop and evaluate strategies to prevent these diseases and their consequences. www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk

Oliver Francis/Paul Browne

The Fenland COVID-19 study is funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC). Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health. Thirty-three MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel prizes in a wide range of disciplines, and MRC scientists have been behind such diverse discoveries as vitamins, the structure of DNA and the link between smoking and cancer, as well as achievements such as pioneering the use of randomised controlled trials, the invention of MRI scanning, and the development of a group of antibodies used in the making of some of the most successful drugs ever developed. Today, MRC-funded scientists tackle some of the greatest health problems facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rising tide of chronic diseases associated with ageing to the threats posed by rapidly mutating micro-organisms. The Medical Research Council is part of UK Research and Innovation. https://mrc.ukri.org/

About the University of Cambridge
The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. To date, 109 affiliates of the University have won the Nobel Prize. Founded in 1209, the University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges and 150 departments, faculties and institutions. Cambridge is a global university. Its 19,000 student body includes 3,700 international students from 120 countries. Cambridge researchers collaborate with colleagues worldwide, and the University has established larger-scale partnerships in Asia, Africa and America. The University sits at the heart of the ‘Cambridge cluster’, which employs more than 61,000 people and has in excess of £15 billion in turnover generated annually by the 5,000 knowledge-intensive firms in and around the city. The city publishes 316 patents per 100,000 residents. www.cam.ac.uk


1 The OneDraw A1C Test System received FDA clearance in August 2019 and completed the CE Mark process in February 2020. University of Cambridge was granted a dispensation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for a limited change from the CE licensed use of this device at home by non-healthcare professional participants for blood sampling.

2 https://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/blog/launch-fenland-covid-19-study/

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