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UK Plans $12M for New Diagnostics Research Projects Targeting Sepsis

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK government plans to spend up to £7.5 million ($12.1 million) to fund new grant competitions for research that will improve the diagnosis, detection, and management of sepsis, which annually causes 60,000 deaths and costs the National Health Service around £2.3 billion, the UK's Technology Strategy Board said today.

The new funding also will support research to develop new tools to help companies involved in diagnostic clinical trials development, according to the TSB.

The TSB is a business-led government body that aims to fund innovation and economic growth by bringing together business, research, and public sector resources to accelerate development of new products and services and address major social challenges.

The sepsis funding will be awarded through two collaborative RD& funding competitions.One of these programs will award up to £5 million for projects seeking to develop point-of-care diagnostic tools to help clinicians and health workers to manage sepsis.

This program also challenges consortia to develop a simple device for use in primary care that could distinguish between bacterial and viral infections and reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Another competition focused on sepsis will provide up to £2.5 million for collaborative projects that will advance the effective use of biomarkers for managing the condition.

"There is universal agreement that there is a need for new and improved diagnostic tools to help clinicians in the management of sepsis," TSB's Head of Healthcare Zahid Latif said in a statement today. "The products developed will help to reduce the economic burden, death and illness from sepsis and infectious diseases and create opportunities for British companies in the huge global market for diagnostic devices," Latif added.

Another new competition will invest up to £1 million to produce new and improved products, tools, or capabilities to help companies design and evaluate diagnostic clinical trials. The goal of this effort is to develop tools that will lead to better adoption of diagnostics by providing high quality data on the impact of new diagnostic products.

All of these competitions are part of the TSB's Detection and Identification of Infectious Agents (DIIA) Innovation Platform, which supports R&D into diagnostic tests and devices for cutting the number of deaths in humans and animals caused by infectious agents and reducing the economic costs of these conditions.

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