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Consortium Headed by Enigma Dx Receives $2.3M to Develop TB Assay

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Enigma Diagnostics today announced a second grant from the UK's Technology Strategy Board to further develop the company's multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) test on its Enigma Mini Laboratory system.

The £1.4 million ($2.3 million) grant was awarded to a consortium headed by UK-based Enigma and includes the Clinical TB Research Laboratory and Health Sciences Research. Enigma said that in an earlier trial funded by the Technology Strategy Board's Biomedical Catalyst program it demonstrated feasibility testing of a single tube assay that identified and differentiated human and bovine TB.

The MDR-TB assay can also detect mutations responsible for resistance to the drugs rifampicin and isoniazid, Enigma said.

The assay is being developed for the company's PCR-based ML system. According to Enigma, the fully automated raw sample-to-result platform, which was launched earlier this year, delivers results "equivalent to central laboratory standards" in up to 70 minutes and can be used by non-technical personnel in a laboratory or decentralized setting.

The firm said that it initially is focusing on the large and high-growth infectious disease markets with multiplexed assays for respiratory illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases, and hospital-acquired infections. In a statement, Enigma Chairman John McKinley said multidrug-resistant TB is a "significant healthcare issue, and this grant will enable Enigma to broaden its commercialization program to include this important test."