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Epistem, Global Health Investment Fund Ink Collaborative Funding Pact

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Epistem said today that it has entered into a collaborative funding agreement with the Global Health Investment Fund to support commercialization of Epistem's Genedrive molecular diagnostic platform and tuberculosis assay.

Under the agreement, Epistem has issued to the GHIF a five-year convertible bond totaling $8 million. The GHIF and Epistem have made global access commitments to mutually support the introduction, distribution, and sale of the Genedrive platform for low- and middle-income countries. The GHIF will use its network to support Epistem in the final stages of clinical testing and regulatory approval, and the subsequent rollout of Genedrive and infectious disease assays globally.

Epistem's Genedrive platform is a fully integrated, handheld, endpoint PCR-based system that weighs around a pound and has a footprint similar to that of a laptop computer.

The first Genedrive assay, for tuberculosis, is currently undergoing clinical studies in five countries. Epistem said that it is prepping the platform and TB assay for launch later this year.

The GHIF is an investment fund designed to provide financing to commercialize new and improved tools to fight health challenges such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and infant mortality in the world's poorest countries.