BURLINGAME, Calif., Nov. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Inflammatix, a pioneering molecular diagnostics company, announced today an agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, to further develop its HostDx™ tests. Under the contract, Inflammatix will receive $6 million in the first phase of a cost-sharing contract worth up $72 million based on achieving certain milestones.
The new contract will advance development and commercialization of Inflammatix's simple sample-to-answer, point-of-care HostDx test system, which will produce results in under 30 minutes. The first phase of work will focus on the novel HostDx Fever test. The HostDx Fever test "reads" gene expression patterns in the immune system to quickly identify whether a suspected infection is bacterial or viral, enabling physicians to quickly and accurately determine whether to prescribe antibiotics. The HostDx Fever test will be run from a fingerstick blood sample and will be used primarily in primary care, urgent care and other outpatient clinical settings. Today, an estimated 30 percent of antibiotics are inappropriately prescribed to patients with infections because their infections are not obviously bacterial or viral in origin.
"We are thrilled to receive this funding from BARDA, which will enable us to advance our HostDx Fever test into the clinic where it will help physicians quickly diagnose infections so they can get the right treatments to the right patients. This ability is key to combatting antibiotic resistance, which is one of the most pressing public health challenges of our time," said Tim Sweeney, M.D., Ph.D., cofounder and chief executive officer of Inflammatix. "Through this public-private sector partnership, we will move precision medicine to the point of care, where it can have an immediate impact on patient outcomes."
Current methods for diagnosing infections are too slow and often inaccurate, resulting in delayed or inappropriate treatment. Infections are often blindly – and incorrectly – treated with antibiotics, which contributes to antibiotic resistance. Each year at least 2 million Americans become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 die as a direct result.
The contract may optionally support two additional Inflammatix tests: HostDx Sepsis and HostDx FeverFlu. HostDx Sepsis is a blood-based test that will rapidly diagnose infections in patients in emergency department or other hospital settings and determine which patients are likely to have or develop sepsis. HostDx FeverFlu will be performed on nasal swab samples and will combine traditional influenza testing with host-response biomarkers.
Inflammatix is a molecular diagnostics company that is reimagining diagnostics by "reading" the patient's immune system to deliver rapid results that improve patient care and reduce major public health burdens. The company's initial focus is on acute infections and sepsis, where its HostDx™ tests combine proprietary biomarkers and advanced machine learning to help physicians quickly get the right treatments to the right patients. Each test will be developed to run on the company's sample-to-answer isothermal instrument platform in 20-30 minutes, enabling the power of precision medicine at the point of care. The Burlingame, Calif.-based company is funded by Khosla Ventures, Northpond Ventures, the Stanford-StartX Fund and Think.Health Ventures. For more information, please visit www.inflammatix.com and follow the company on Twitter (@Inflammatix_Inc).
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under Contract No. 75A50119C00034.