NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) announced over the weekend that it has awarded grants to several companies for the development of new hepatitis C virus diagnostic tests.
Abbott, Blink-Dx, Diagnostics for the Real World, Chembio Diagnostics, Mologic, and DCN Diagnostics will receive grants in order to conduct feasibility studies on the developments of different types of HCV diagnostic technologies. Abbott, Blink-Dx, and Diagnostics for the Real World are aiming to develop a molecular point-of-care test for HCV RNA detection, while Chembio Diagnostics, Mologic, and DCN Diagnostics are aiming to develop and validate prototype HCV core antigen diagnostic tests on their rapid diagnostic testing platforms.
FIND said it will also provide project support, including reference samples for assay development, antibodies for HCV antigen capture and detection, and technical expertise.
FIND has also awarded grants to the Treatment Action Group and the Delhi Network of Positive People to develop and implement country-specific strategies for advocacy activities on HCV diagnosis and demand for diagnostics in Cameroon, Georgia, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
The feasibility studies, demand creation, and advocacy programs follow a request for proposal that FIND began in the first half of 2018, as part of the Hepatitis C Elimination Through Access to Diagnostics project supported by a Unitaid grant.
FIND declined to disclose the amount of the awards.
"It is crucial to increase the number of people who are diagnosed [with chronic HCV] and link them to treatment," FIND CEO Catharina Boehme said in a statement. "We need affordable, point-of-care diagnostics, and smart strategies to ensure [the tests] reach patients, including integration into existing testing pathways such as HIV care and support services."
FIND announced in May that it has begun two initiatives to improve diagnostic technologies for antimicrobial resistance and potential disease outbreaks.