NEW YORK – The US National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday that Visby Medical's diagnostic test for detecting Neisseria gonorrhoeae won the $19 million Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge.
The test detects N. gonorrhoeae, the microorganism that causes gonorrhea, and determines in less than 30 minutes if the organism is susceptible to a single-dose antibiotic. The Patient-side, Disposable, Molecular PCR Diagnostic Device for Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Drug Resistance Markers is a palm-sized, single-use, disposable device for use at the point of care. Treatment of gonorrhea has become limited to two drugs, one injectable and an oral antibiotic, the NIH said, highlighting the difficulty in treating the disease.
The AMR competition was co-sponsored by the NIH and the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and each agency contributed $10 million over the course of the challenge. Five semifinalists received $100,000 each to "develop and test prototypes to improve detection of drug-resistant bacteria or differentiate between a bacterial and viral infection," the NIH said.
San Jose, California-based Visby Medical is currently exploring how its technology could be used to help develop SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics, the NIH said.