Saudi startup outlines pain-free glucose testing for diabetes patients at GITEX

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The days of finger pricking to analyze the blood sugar levels of diabetics could be over. (Reuters)
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The sensor is printed on paper. (Supplied)
Updated 10 October 2019

Saudi startup outlines pain-free glucose testing for diabetes patients at GITEX

  • GlucoJet, founded by three young Saudis at KAUST, is developing a new method of detecting sugar level with the use of saliva, instead of blood
  • It was one of the startups that received a $100,000-grant from the recent TAQADAM accelerator program, one of KAUST’s flagship entrepreneurship events

DUBAI: A Saudi startup is inventing technology that will make sugar level testing pain-free and non-invasive.

GlucoJet, founded by three young Saudis at the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST), is developing a new method of detecting sugar level with the use of saliva, instead of blood.

“We have managed to develop a sensor for glucose that doesn’t need to use blood, instead it uses the saliva to measure the glucose. It’s completely pain-free, you don’t need to do the finger pricks,” GlucoJet co-founder Abdulelah Saleh said, referring to the traditional way of determining glucose count.

Currently, diabetes patients use a glucometer to monitor their sugar level. The portable device works by analyzing blood usually taken with a prick to a patient’s fingertip, which Saleh noted could be painful and expensive for some patients.

“Every single diabetic patient I have talked to so far has been telling me: If you put this in the market, I’m throwing away the (glucometer),” he said.

But GlucotJet is yet to be available commercially, Saleh clarified, because it still needs to go through a long process of development, testing, and approvals.

“As a research project, it started about four years ago, but as a startup it’s only been less than a year so far. We are still very young. We are still building the startup. We’re building our team. We’re trying to develop our product enough so we can actually put it to the market,” he added.




Founders of GlucoJet. (Supplied)

Saleh said they have already proven the technology works but emphasized: “To actually get it to the level where it can be used by customers, we still need to do a lot of development.”

The development process will still go on for another two years, Saleh said, while Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval might take around three years to finish. He said this length is longer compared to other startups in general but is “less than the average time in the biotech startup scene.”

GlucoJet was one of the startups that received a $100,000-grant from the recent TAQADAM accelerator program, one of KAUST’s flagship entrepreneurship events.

Saled said the grant could help them in developing the product, and especially in meeting potential investors who will support them until they launch the product commercially.

 


KSRelief chief: Saudi Arabia is biggest donor to Yemen

Updated 30 May 2020

KSRelief chief: Saudi Arabia is biggest donor to Yemen

  • Al-Rabeeah said he hoped the donors conference would be supported by the international community
  • $180 million is needed urgently to fight COVID-19 in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is the largest donor to humanitarian efforts in Yemen and its response to a donor conference held in 2015 is evidence of this, the head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) said on Saturday.
The supervisor general of KSRelief, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, said that meeting the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people is a priority for the Kingdom.
He added that he hoped the upcoming donors conference organized by the Kingdom in partnership with the United Nations would be supported and well received by the international community.
Meanwhile, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock said the Kingdom donated more than $750 million last year and pledged $500 million in April.
Lowcock added that this makes Saudi Arabia the biggest donor to Yemen, which requires $2.4 billion to fund the aid operation for the rest of the year. Of that figure, $180 million is needed urgently to fight COVID-19.
Yemen’s Minister of Information Moammar Al-Eryani said that the Kingdom has always provided support to Yemen and continues to do so at a time when Iran is “providing nothing but killing, destruction, smuggled weapons, ballistic missiles … and explosive devices that kill Yemenis every day.”
The donors conference for Yemen is due to take place on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Saudi time.