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BARDA to Extend Contract Worth $10.7M to First Light Biosciences

NEW YORK (360Dx) – First Light Biosciences on Thursday said that the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has approved a two-year, $10.7 million extension of a multiyear contract to develop its automated MultiPath Platform, which uses digital imaging and rapid tests to detect urinary tract infections and anthrax poisoning.

The BARDA contract supports development of the benchtop, fully automated MultiPath Platform, and an ultrasensitive test that detects anthrax infection in 25 minutes from a simple fingerstick blood sample. It will also be used to develop a UTI test that detects infections and identifies the disease-causing pathogen in 30 minutes, and then determines the right antibiotic to treat the infection in just four hours as opposed to the several days required by current tests, First Light said.

"Our continuing relationship with BARDA demonstrates the need for an affordable, automated diagnostic platform that supports a broad menu of rapid, ultrasensitive, and easy-to-use tests addressing critical public health issues, including antibiotic resistant infections and biowarfare agents," First Light Biosciences CEO David Macdonald said in a statement.

The firm is also developing a molecule counting technology that detects Clostridium difficile toxin in stool samples.