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CARB-X Awards MicrobeDx Up To $3.5M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Antibiotic resistance diagnostics firm MicrobeDx today announced it has received up to $3.5 million in funding from CARB-X.

The award will be used by Los Angeles-based MicrobeDx to develop its diagnostic technology, which uses a compact desktop device to detect the presence of bacteria in clinical urine specimens, and to which antibiotics they are susceptible. Bacteria can be detected within 30 minutes, while complete antimicrobial susceptibility detection can be completed within three hours with the system, the company said.

Its technology uses a ribosomal RNA-based assay on a microfluidic disc platform that was developed at the University of California, Irvine. According to MicrobeDx's website, its method, unlike conventional methods, does not require cell isolation, resulting in a faster time to result. It also uses hybridization and capture of target ribosomal RNA, leveraging natural amplification and avoiding the need for PCR.

The system is currently in product development, to be followed by manufacturing and US Food and Drug Administration clinical studies. A market launch is expected in 2020, the firm said.

While the focus is currently on urinary tract infections, the platform may ultimately be used with other body fluids, including positive blood cultures.

CARB-X is a public-private partnership to accelerate development of early-stage antibiotics and diagnostics for drug-resistant bacterial infections. Last week it awarded Talis Biomedical $4.4million.