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Akonni Biosystems Gets $3M Grant for Drug-Resistant Genotyping Test

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Akonni Biosystems today said that it has received a nearly $3 million Challenge Grant from the National Institutes of Health to support development of its multi-drug resistant/extensively drug-resistant (MDR/XDR) genotyping testing technology.

The Frederick, Md.-based molecular diagnostic firm is developing a point-of-care testing technology for cancer and infectious diseases, such as MDR/XDR-tuberculosis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and drug-resistant strains of influenza.

Akonni is partnering on the project with the Wadsworth Center Laboratory of Clinical Mycobacteriology, which will cultivate MDR- and XDR-TB isolates and provide preclinical verification on amended sputum samples. The firm expects to deploy the technology for pre-clinical studies at international reference centers in regions of the world where TB is most prevalent.

"The development of highly-extensible, low-cost diagnostics for use in near point-of-care settings is critical for mitigating the spread of complex, increasing drug-resistant diseases like tuberculosis," Darrell Chandler, CSO of Akonni Biosystems, said in a statement. "Combining PCR amplification with our gel-drop microarray platform in a self-contained micro-fluidic chamber will further enhance our ability to develop and deploy comprehensive panels to affordably and rapidly detect multiple pathogens and their variant forms from a single patient sample."

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