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Lumora, FIND Partner to Develop High-throughput Malaria Assay

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – UK molecular diagnostics company Lumora said today it is partnering with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics to develop a rapid, high-throughput malaria diagnostic assay to screen patients in the developing world.

Lumora said that the lack of screening technologies in the field that can detect hidden or low parasitemia malaria infections has prevented the eradication of malaria. FIND and Eiken Chemical recently developed and launched the first field test with the sensitivity to detect as few as one malaria parasite in a finger prick of blood sample. The test is based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification, or LAMP, technology.

Today's partnership — which is being funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research — will allow the LAMP test to be developed into a high-throughput technology designed specifically for malaria elimination programs, Lumora said.

In a statement, Lumora CEO Laurence Tisi said "This partnership illustrates that by combining the versatility and strength of Lumora's technologies with the expertise of the team, we can develop a diagnostic which can be deployed in both a traditional and non-traditional clinical setting."

"LAMP technology has already proven to be the most robust field technology for high-sensitivity diagnosis, currently entering programs for elimination of both malaria and sleeping sickness and under development for a number of other diseases," David Bell, head of the malaria and acute fever program at FIND, added. "Adding this high-throughput platform opens the way for a range of new diagnostic screening applications that could prove pivotal in managing several diseases of both human and animal health."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not included.