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Ionian Technologies Gets Gates Funding for MDx Platform

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ionian Technologies today said that it has received additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue developing a molecular diagnostics platform designed for use in the developing world.

The San Diego-based firm said that its total commitment from the Gates foundation has risen to $3 million over two years.

Ionian is using the funds to develop a platform based on its isothermal nucleic acid amplification (NEAR) technology. It intends to initially develop assays for the platform that will detect tuberculosis, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

The NEAR technology can detect either DNA or RNA from bacterial or viral pathogens with a five-minute amplification coupled with a simple and rapid detection by fluorescence or lateral-flow test strips. The firm claims that the NEAR amplification reaction matches the sensitivity and specificity performance of current nucleic acid technologies such as PCR, but in less time and with a less complicated handheld device.