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Sequella Receives $244K NIAID Grant for Drug-Resistant TB Assay

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Sequella said yesterday that it has received a $244,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a diagnostic assay that will use nucleic acid amplification to test for drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
 
The Rockville, Md.-based company said it will use the funds to further develop its Sequella Biological System for Molecular Antibiotic Resistance, or B-SMART, which uses bacteriophage-based technology to identify antibiotic-resistant TB in clinical samples that have been exposed to antimicrobials.
 
The technology identifies “a unique molecular sequence produced by the phage itself as it replicates,” the company said, making it unnecessary to know the specific gene or genes that are responsible for the resistance.
 
The company said that for slow-growing pathogens, the B-SMART technology “could potentially provide simultaneous reporting of microbial identification and drug susceptibility in a matter of hours, rather than days or weeks.”
 
Sequella said intends for the technology to be able to be fully automated and “amenable to multiplexing.”

The Scan

Rare Genetic Disease Partnership

A public-private partnership plans to speed the development of gene therapies for rare genetic diseases, Stat News writes.

Approval Sought for Alzheimer's Drug

The Wall Street Journal reports Eli Lilly has initiated a rolling submission to the US Food and Drug Administration to seek approval for its drug to treat Alzheimer's disease.

DNA Barcoding Paper Retracted

Science reports that a 2014 DNA barcoding paper was retracted after a co-author brought up data validity concerns.

Nature Papers Present Genomic Analysis of Bronze Age Mummies, Approach to Study Host-Pathogen Interactions

In Nature this week: analysis finds Tarim mummies had local genetic origin, and more.