April 6th, 2021, 7:00 AM ET
Novel Microdevices, Inc. awarded up to $13.8 million from CARB-X for the development of a rapid, point-of-care, molecular diagnostic platform for the detection of sexually transmitted diseases, including antibiotic-resistant infections
(Baltimore, Maryland) – Novel Microdevices, Inc.,(Novel) a developer of an innovative molecular diagnostics platform, announced today that CARB-X has awarded it up to $13.8 million in non-dilutive funding to develop its next-generation rapid molecular test for the diagnosis of sexually transmitted bacterial infections, including Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Novel’s new device will also detect antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, including those strains resistant to the only effective antibiotic treatment choices for gonorrhea – ciprofloxacin and 3rd generation cephalosporins. Novel’s device will diagnose infections in about 25 minutes from vaginal swab or urine samples. The CARB-X award consists of $3.6 million in initial funding with up to $10.2 million of milestone-based funding. CARB-X will also provide Novel with access to industry expertise and business consulting resources.
CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership, provides funding and support for projects that target drug-resistant bacteria deemed Serious or Urgent on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antibiotic Resistant Threats list or Critical or High on the World Health Organization’s Priority Bacterial Pathogens list.
“Treating gonorrhea is challenging and in some cases not possible because Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the causative agent of gonorrhea, has developed resistance to most existing antibiotics,” said Erin Duffy, R&D Chief of CARB-X. “Novel’s technology is in the early stages of development and, if successful, could be used world-wide to help health-care providers diagnose gonorrhea, including resistance markers, more rapidly, thus improving treatment decisions, and mitigating the devastating effects of these diseases.”
“Novel’s innovative diagnostic technology has the potential to accelerate treatment decisions and save lives. Our collaboration with CARB-X aims for quick and accurate diagnoses in all settings including usage by professionals, laypeople and in underdeveloped areas of the world,” said Andrea Pais, Novel Microdevices’ CEO/Founder. “We are honored to be a part of the CARB-X portfolio. CARB-X’s investment and expertise accelerates Novel’s momentum and reinforces our shared mission of addressing the growing challenge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
Novel’s rapid point-of-care diagnostic is designed for portability. Weighing only four pounds, it is battery-powered, making it particularly suited to low resource settings and low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). The molecular testing platform implements polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology on a disposable cartridge. The patient sample is added to the cartridge, which is then inserted into the Novel Dx system, which analyzes the genetic sequence of cells to identify a pathogen of interest and the presence of genetic mutations known to make bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
About Novel Microdevices
Novel Microdevices is a woman-owned, woman-led point-of-care infectious disease diagnostics company headquartered in Baltimore City, Maryland. Novel Microdevices is commercializing Novel Dx, a proprietary and best-in-class Point-of-Care (POC) rapid molecular diagnostics system that is ultra-portable and can be produced for a wide range of high-volume molecular diagnostic assay applications. The company is focusing on women’s health and under-resourced populations in the $31 billion infectious diseases diagnostics market with tests in development for multiple respiratory and sexually transmitted infections.
Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funding is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). CARB-X is investing up to $480 million from 2016-2022 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics. CARB-X supports the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X is headquartered at Boston University School of Law. carb-x.org/. Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.
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