A new diagnostic tool for the early detection of type 2 diabetes

DeTecT2D aims to improve on existing diagnostic tools by developing and eventually marketing a safe, precise means to detect pre-diabetes and undiagnosed cases of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The project is also developing an AI-based algorithm to improve diagnosis of these medical conditions.


Every second individual with diabetes is not diagnosed. Early detection of T2D is essential to intervention, healthy ageing and reducing the burden on healthcare systems. OGTT, the current gold standard for diagnosis, is time consuming, costly and potentially risky for undiagnosed patients. DeTec2D partners have patented a set of biomarkers for pre-diabetes and T2D that are distinct from known diabetes risk indicators.


DeTecT2D combines the efforts of leading European research centers (Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung, Helmholtz Zentrum München), five top ranked universities (Imperial College London, Uppsala Universitet, University of Cambridge, Tübingen Universität, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), an innovative SME (sAnalytiCo), and a pharmaceutical company (Biocrates Life Science) with a track record of successful product launches for metabolic phenotyping.

The project

The DeTecT2D project seeks to develop and commercialise a safe and precise means for early detection of pre-diabetes and T2D. The project involves:

  • development of a business model;
  • evaluating an extended set of candidate biomarkers in clinical and case-control samples;
  • development of algorithms for screening;
  • interdisciplinary training of doctoral students.

EIT Health support helps the project to better define the necessary steps towards commercialisation. The support has facilitated engagement of several large cohorts and clinical studies from partners in Germany, Great Britain and Sweden, providing different ethnicities and age groups. This helps to significantly increase the applicability of our diagnostic assay.


The new diagnostic assay will:

  • enable precise detection of pre-diabetes, allowing strategies to decrease or delay onset of T2D, and related problems, like cardiovascular diseases, and kidney and eye diseases;
  • provide a safe, efficient tool to detect undiagnosed T2D;
  • aid public health care systems by eliminating or postponing patients’ need for treatment of T2D and related complications;
  • improve patients’ life quality and contribute to healthy ageing.
Why this is an EIT Health project

This project aligns with the EIT Health Focus Areas of:

  • “Care Pathways”, because it seeks to use improved prevention to help alter the trajectory of an illness.
  • “Behavioural Change”, because it is designed to facilitate prevention of the onset of T2D.

External Partners:

Dr. Rui Wang-Sattler
| Group Leader | Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung
Marcela Covic
| Scientist And Project Manager | Helmholtz Zentrum München