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UK's NIHR Grants £1.5M to Develop Infectious Disease and Resistance POC Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The UK's National Institute for Health Research has granted £1.5 million ($2.3 million) to Atlas Genetics and St. George's University of London to develop and validate DNA-based point-of-care tests to simultaneously detect infection and antibiotic resistance.

Scientists from St. George's Applied Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Unit have developed assays to identify specific mutations in bacteria that indicate resistance and can help guide treatment decisions. Atlas Genetics is incorporating the assays with its io POC testing platform. The firm said the test would provide both identification and resistance results in 30 minutes. 

"This process of diagnosis has already been shown to be very reliable, and so we are confident that we will be able to identify which drugs to use to successfully treat the infection," Tariq Sadiq, Chief Investigator at St. George's, said in a statement. "Within one short visit, patients will get their diagnosis and a bespoke treatment. We believe that this test-and-treat method will reinforce clinicians' confidence in the antibiotics they choose for their patients."

Bath, UK-based Atlas Genetics plans to launch the io platform, which uses an electrochemical sensor, later this year.