Stewardship / Resistance Scan for Jan 09, 2020

AMR gene tracking kit
Diagnostics for respiratory infections

NIAID funds development of test for detecting AMR genes

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded $1.5 million to Phase Genomics of Seattle, Washington, to develop a low-cost, culture-free platform for detecting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes.

In a press release yesterday, the company said it will use its proprietary Hi-C technology and other proximity ligation methods to develop an AMR tracking kit and user-friendly web portal that can identify the hosts of AMR genes and analyze the transmission of antimicrobial resistance elements directly from complex microbial communities. The kit will be designed for use in clinical settings, as well as in AMR reservoirs like wastewater treatment plants and agricultural environments.

"This new grant enables the development of a new class of tools and methods for identifying antimicrobial resistance hosts and providing critical information for understanding the ecology of the transmission of AMR genes," said Ivan Liachko, PhD, founder and CEO of Phase Genomics. 

The company said the platform will fill a technology gap, as current shotgun metagenomic methods fail to capture host-element information.
Jan 8 Phase Genomics press release


Company receives $1 million for respiratory infection diagnostics test

Fusion Genomics of Vancouver, British Columbia, today announced it has received $1 million in pharmacy-industry funding to conduct a clinical trial to assess its comprehensive, novel genomic diagnostics platform, which aims to help improve the diagnosis of respiratory tract infections (RTIs).

The study will be funded through the CQDM Quantum Leap program, which supports innovative technologies that facilitate drug discovery and development, the company said in a news release. CQDM is a pharmaceutical research consortium that has raised more than $90 million Canadian since 2008 from 13 drug companies and other partners.

The 1-year project will evaluate the ability of Fusion Genomics' ONETest, a next-generation-sequencing–based assay for infectious disease diagnosis, to identify pathogens responsible for RTIs in hospitals. The assay is designed to detect about 1,400 known pathogens simultaneously, which can help not only in saving patients but also in combatting antibiotic resistance.

"We are honored that CQDM has selected the ONETest RTI study as part of its prestigious portfolio of funded programs," said Mohammad Qadir, PhD, president and chief scientific officer of Fusion Genomics. "This study offers Fusion Genomics and our exceptional collaborators the opportunity to begin transforming the diagnosis of RTIs, and thereby reduce the tremendous burden of these infections on both patients and the hospitals that treat them."
Jan 9 Fusion Genomics news release

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