Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

HelixBind Receives $3M NIH Grant to Expand Bloodstream Infection Dx Platform

NEW YORK – HelixBind said on Wednesday it was awarded a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand the capabilities of its RaPID direct-from-blood platform, which identifies and characterizes bloodstream infections. 

The platform's first test, RaPID/BSI, identifies the most common bloodstream infections associated with sepsis and received an expanded $4 million contract from the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Accelerator (CARB-X) program in December, expanding on a $2 million funding award from CARB-X announced in 2018. The expansion was based on the successful completion of product development milestones.

The RaPID platform uses peptide nucleic acid-based amplification to identify infections direct from blood within hours, the firm said. The platform has a disposable element to snap in an EDTA blood collection tube, which then goes into an analyzer to conduct PCR for 16s and 18s genomic DNA. Instead of using DNA hybridization, the system uses artificial nucleic acid probes.

The Marlborough, Massachusetts-based company also announced blood culture and infectious disease expert Melvin Weinstein is joining the firm's clinical advisory board. Weinstein is the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy and Immunology at Rutgers Health and a professor of medicine and pathology and laboratory medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.