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BARDA Awards $51.9M to DNAe to Develop Rapid Diagnostics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has awarded a $51.9 million contract to London-based DNA Electronics to develop semiconductor-based next-generation sequencing diagnostics for antimicrobial resistant infections and influenza, the company said today.

Under the auspices of the project, entitled Pathogen Identification from Specimen via Capture Extraction and Sequencing, DNAe will complete development and validation of its Genalysis platform. It will also submit its tests for US Food and Drug Administration clearance.

"Unlike existing sequencing devices, the platform operates 'push button' directly from raw clinical specimens such as blood or swabs, delivering a clinically-relevant report for the physician," Sam Reed, president of DNAe's US office, said in a statement. Users do not have to be specially trained in sequencing, Reed added, "enabling [the platform] to be used in a wide range of near-to-patient clinical environments."

The company's first product will be a diagnostic test for sepsis. DNAe said the test is in late stage development and testing and will launch in 2018.