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Midge Medical, Institut Pasteur de Dakar Partner for Rapid Marburg Virus Test

NEW YORK – Berlin, Germany-based diagnostics startup Midge Medical said on Monday that it has partnered with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar (IPD) to offer a rapid molecular diagnostic test for Marburg virus field testing in Africa.

The collaboration was established in response to a request from IPD for Midge to adapt its Minoo system for Marburg virus detection, the firm said in a statement.

The Minoo is a portable, battery-operated, isothermal amplification instrument with smartphone connectivity enabling data analysis and readout of results. The firm previously developed a CE-marked SARS-CoV-2 test for the system.

A hemorrhagic disease, Marburg virus infection can lead to high fever, bleeding, and organ failure. Outbreaks of Marburg virus caused nine fatalities in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year as well as five deaths in Tanzania in the past few days.

Midge Medical said it integrated an isothermal molecular Marburg virus test into its Minoo platform within a month and delivered a prototype assay for field testing in Africa. "IPD staff were trained to run the test, and the system was verified to work with clinical samples from the recent outbreak," the company said, noting that initial responses to field training with the device were favorable.

Midge Medical now hopes to continue collaborating with the IPD to adapt and develop its device for virus surveillance and detection in outbreak investigations in Africa.