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SpeeDx Receives CARB-X Funding to Develop Rapid Point-of-Care Diagnostic

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SpeeDx Pty. Ltd., a developer of innovative molecular diagnostic solutions, announced it has been awarded up to US $1.8 million from CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership dedicated to supporting research and development to address the rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria. SpeeDx represents the first Australian-based diagnostics company to receive CARB-X funding and a further $1.9 million will be available once the project reaches defined milestones. Funds will be used to develop a rapid test for the combined detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, while identifying antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of gonorrhea infections towards common antibiotic treatments. Chlamydia (CT) and gonorrhea (NG) are globally significant sexually transmitted infections with serious health complications if left untreated,1 and AMR NG is an urgent public health threat.2

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SpeeDx aims to develop an affordable, fast (60 mins), point-of-care test for the detection of bacteria that cause CT and NG, in addition to determining the susceptibility of NG to cefixime, ciprofloxacin, and azithromycin. Utilizing their newly patented InSignia™ technology to both assess the presence of active bacterial infection and AMR status, SpeeDx is collaborating with QuantuMDx to port the test onto their Q-POC™ sample to answer qPCR & integrated microarray system - a small battery-powered, simple-to-use device suitable for remote settings. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Current antibiotic susceptibility testing methods fail to offer timely and comprehensive susceptibility/resistance information, especially in resource-limited settings. SpeeDx aims to develop an affordable, fast (<60 mins), point-of-care test for the detection of bacteria that cause CT and NG, in addition to determining the susceptibility of NG to three cheap, orally administered, and accessible antibiotics: cefixime, ciprofloxacin, and azithromycin. SpeeDx will utilize their newly patented InSignia™ technology to both assess the presence of active bacterial infection and AMR status. SpeeDx is collaborating with QuantuMDx to port the test onto their Q-POC™ sample to answer qPCR & integrated microarray system - a small battery-powered, simple-to-use device suitable for remote settings.

“We are working closely with QuantuMDx to supply affordable and innovative diagnostics with the goal of significantly improving the standard of care and antibiotic stewardship in STI management,” said Colin Denver, SpeeDx CEO. “This project is an excellent application of our recently developed InSignia technology and the support from CARB-X for this venture will help accelerate this development and extend access in critical need areas.”

Jonathan O’Halloran, Chief Executive, QuantuMDx added: “Antimicrobial resistance is a global public health threat and requires a global response. With rapidly rising rates of AMR, it is no longer good enough to simply provide a pathogen ID, we must also determine what therapeutics the infection is resistant to and which ones the infection are sensitive to. Performing this all within a single assay, as the patient waits, will be transformational. We launch Q-POC™ - our rapid PCR diagnostic system - later this year and we’re looking forward to this, our first commercial collaboration, with SpeeDx.”

About SpeeDx
Founded in 2009, SpeeDx is an Australian-based private company with subsidiary offices in Austin and London, and distributors across Europe. SpeeDx specializes in molecular diagnostic solutions that go beyond simple detection to offer comprehensive information for improved patient management. Innovative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology has driven market-leading multiplex detection and priming strategies. Product portfolios focus on multiplex diagnostics for sexually transmitted infection (STI), antibiotic resistance markers, and respiratory disease. For more information on SpeeDx please see: https://plexpcr.com

About CARB-X
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.

About QuantuMDx
QuantuMDx Group is an ambitious company with a global vision of empowering the world to control and eradicate disease by making transformative, quality point-of-care diagnostic technologies universally accessible. QuantuMDx has operations and strategic partnerships in the United States, Asia, Australasia, Europe and Africa – keeping it at the forefront of molecular diagnostics. For more information go to: www.quantumdx.com

References

  1. WHO, News Release: More than 1 million new curable sexually transmitted infections every day, 6 June 2016
  2. WHO, News Release: Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea on the rise, new drugs needed, 7 July 2017

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Contact information

SpeeDx
Australia, New Zealand and Europe
Madeline O’Donoghue - SpeeDx
+61 406 582 808

QuantuMDx
UK
Debra Daglish, QuantuMDx Group,
+44 870 803 1234

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