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NIH Launches $20M Competition for New Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health today launched a $20 million competition to promote the development of novel point-of-care in vitro diagnostics to detect and distinguish antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Called the Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge, the competition has three phases. In the first, up to 20 semi-finalists will be selected based on their initial concepts and receive up to $50,000 each to develop prototype tests and generate analytical data. In the second phase, 10 semi-finalists will be selected to receive up to $100,000 each to further develop their prototypes and submit them for testing by independent CLIA labs. In the final phase, up to three challenge winners will be chosen to share $18 million or more to fully develop their prototypes into working diagnostics.

"The growing incidence of serious infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria presents a critical risk to the public health of our nation," NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement. "My hope is that this competition will spur exceptional innovators to rise to the challenge and deliver effective tools to help manage this significant problem."

The challenge is a joint effort between the NIH and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and will be funded with equal contributions from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the ASPR's Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority.

Concepts for the first phase of the program must be submitted by January 9. Additional details can be found here.