Israeli firm MeMed won a contract worth up to $9.2 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to complete the development of a point-of-care in vitro diagnostic platform that can distinguish between bacterial and viral infections and so help to prevent antibiotic misuse.
MeMed’s diagnostic platform uses infection-specific immune system responses as immunological fingerprints to identify and distinguish between bacterial, viral, and noninfectious diseases. The firm’s first-generation, EC-approved ImmunoXpert™ assay couples immune system biomarker measurements with pattern recognition algorithms to distinguish between different types of infection.
MeMed says its second-generation test will be an easy-to-use, 15-minute point-of-care (PoC) assay. Company information describes the firm’s developmental ImmunoPoC™ platform as a benchtop device for rapidly distinguishing between bacterial and viral infections at the point-of-care.
Commenting on the DTRA contract, Tanya Gottlieb, Ph.D., MeMed’s vp for scientific affairs, said, “The project will also evaluate and expand our test menu to detect early infections, even at the presymptomatic stage of disease—currently a major challenge in our ability to control infections and epidemics.”
“This joint effort, and our growing collaboration with other international stakeholders from industry and government, will facilitate the global availability of our tests aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance,” added Eran Eden, Ph.D., MeMed CEO.
The CE-marked ImmunoXpert assay is also cleared for clinical use in Switzerland and Israel. In September last year, the EC awarded MeMed €2.3 million (approximately $2.5 million) to support a consortium of industry and academic partners to deploy ImmunoXpert at medical centers for monitoring the management of children with respiratory tract infections or fever without source.
MeMed believes the DTRA contract will also provide opportunities for broadening utility of the diagnostic platform. “In addition to allowing measurements of our bacterial versus viral test within minutes, the new platform also opens the way to a variety of rapid multiplex-protein measurements at the point of care with lab-quality precision, which has broad applications,” commented MeMed’s CTO, Kfir Oved, M.D., Ph.D.