DNA Electronics (DNAe) said today it will receive up to $51.9 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) toward developing its sequencing platform for rapid diagnosis in antimicrobial-resistant infections and influenza.

The semiconductor-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform—the first for which BARDA has awarded a contract—is designed to enable rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases.

The contract, titled “Pathogen Identification from Specimen, via Capture Extraction and Sequencing (PISCES),” is intended to enable DNAe to complete development and validation of its Genalysis® platform, as well as and support a series of FDA applications seeking marketing clearance.

According to DNAe, the Genalysis® platform will combine the ability to sequence the DNA of an infectious organism in a sealed microchip-based system, directly from a clinical specimen, with analysis to identify the disease agent within a few hours.

“The platform can be operated by users who are not specially trained in sequencing, enabling it to be used in a wide range of near-to-patient clinical environments where sequencing has not been possible before,” Sam Reed, president of DNAe’s U.S. office, said in a statement.

Semiconductor-based DNA sequencing was invented by DNAe Founder and Executive Chairman Chris Toumazou, Ph.D., and his research group at Imperial College London, where he is Regius Professor of Engineering, as well as Chair in Biomedical Circuit Design, Director of the Centre for Bio-Inspired Technology, and Founder and Chief Scientist for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.

“This collaboration demonstrates the suitability of DNAe’s NGS-based platform to address a range of clinical needs, demonstrated by the applications in antimicrobial resistance and influenza testing, where there is a very high unmet need,” Dr. Toumazou added.

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