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Baebies Awarded up to $11.6M in CARB-X Funding for Neonatal Sepsis Test

NEW YORK — Newborn screening and pediatric testing firm Baebies said on Tuesday that it will receive up to $11.6 million from the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator to develop a point-of-care diagnostic test for neonatal sepsis.

The award includes up to $3.9 million in initial funding and up to an additional $7.7 million based on project milestones. With the funding, Baebies aims to develop a near-patient test for its digital microfluidics-based Finder instrument that can detect bacterial pathogens in a 125 µl whole blood sample within 15 minutes, according to CARB-X.

The test would also include a 15-minute post-blood culture molecular analysis for pathogen identification and antibiotic sensitivity, as well as measure genetic host response markers unique to neonatal populations to distinguish between inflammatory responses, CARB-X said.

"There is a critical need for a rapid and easy-to-use diagnostic platform for bacteremia, especially for the newborn population given the low circulating blood volume available for testing," Vamsee Pamula, cofounder and president of Baebies, said in a statement. "Through this CARB-X partnership, the development of blood culture and identification of bacteria on our Finder platform not only enables clinicians to receive results fast, but also conserves the limited blood volume by maximizing the diagnostic yield."

The Finder platform is CE marked and under 510(k) review by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to Durham, North Carolina-based Baebies.