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NIAID to Grant $20M for Pathogen Responses

By a GenomeWeb Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases plans to commit $20.2 million to fund development of medical diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other technologies for use as countermeasures for pathogens and toxins.

NIAID plans to fund 15 to 20 grants to investigators that will work with at least one industry partner in development of these diagnostic and other technologies aimed at responding to bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases.

NIAID plans to support development of new diagnostics that can rapidly identify Category A, B, or C agents in a range of human clinical samples, such as in serum, blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and others.

The institute is encouraging development of multiplexed diagnostics and tools that can provide information about potential early, non-specific symptoms. NIAID also has placed a high priority on diagnostics that use platforms to simultaneously detect multiple agents and their drug sensitivities in clinical specimens and to distinguish whether an individual is infected with a biological agent or a common infection with similar symptoms.

The aim of the program is to fund countermeasures that eventually will obtain FDA clearance, although clearance does not need to be the direct result of these proposed projects.

NIAID said in the funding announcement that the diagnostics should be rapid, sensitive, specific, easy to use, random access, adaptable, and cost-effective.

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