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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.