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CARB-X Awards Pattern Bioscience up to $21.9M for Rapid ID/AST System

NEW YORK – CARB-X announced Tuesday it will support the development of a rapid identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing system from Pattern Bioscience. The award totals up to $6.8 million, with eligibility for an additional $15.1 million in milestone payments.

The award is designed to cover 80 to 90 percent of development costs, depending on the phase of development, CARB-X said in a statement.

Pattern Bioscience, formerly known as Klaris Diagnostics, is based in Austin, Texas. Its diagnostic test combines single cell analysis with deep learning to provide ID and AST results within four hours. Specifically, it uses an approach it calls Digital Culture, which involves droplet microfluidics for cell isolation and phenotypic detection and susceptibility testing.

CARB-X is a consortium led by Boston University and funded by a global partnership that includes the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). CARB-X is investing up to $500 million in antibacterial R&D between 2016-2021, according to a statement. The goal is to support projects through the early phases of development, so that they will attract additional private or public support for further clinical development and approval for use in patients.

"Rapid diagnostics are urgently needed to improve the treatment of drug-resistant infections," said Erin Duffy, chief of research and development of CARB-X. "Currently, it can take days of laboratory testing to diagnose a lethal bacterial infection. Faster ID/AST results, like Pattern’s diagnostic, if successful and eventually approved for use in patients, would enable medical staff to treat infections quickly with appropriate antibiotics."