NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – GE Global Research will use a grant of nearly $5.8 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to work with InDevR to develop a rapid, portable, and easy-to-use diagnostic for the flu and other infectious diseases, GE said today.
GE plans to work with InDevR to create a point-of-care test for flu that can be adapted to identify E. coli, malaria, salmonella, and other infections that will incorporate new materials and molecular biology methods into a device InDevR is already developing.
Boulder, Colo.-based InDevR offers instrumentation and assay products for use in virus quantification, pathogen detection and identification, colorimetric detection on microarrays and other microarray supplies.
According to GE, DARPA is seeking a device that could be used in the field to help assess soldiers and which could be used by medics in humanitarian and disaster relief efforts. If the device also could analyze DNA, RNA, and proteins, then it would be versatile enough to be modified to recognize new strains of flu and other diseases.
Today, the flu can be diagnosed in the doctor’s office, but often patient samples need to be sent out to a lab to confirm a diagnosis and provide more information about a patient’s condition.
"GE and InDevR intend to develop a device that brings this analysis to the point-of-care at the doctor’s office, a remote military base, or the site of a humanitarian mission responding to a major health care pandemic," Erin Finehout, lead engineer at GE Global Research and a PI on the project, said in a statement.
The partners also hope the device can be readily adapted so that it can recognize new flu strains and other infectious diseases, GE said. This can be achieved if it can simultaneously analyze multiple types of biomolecules, a capability that is not possible with devices currently on the market.
GE said that the funding will result in the creation of at least seven new jobs at InDevR.