NEW YORK – ReadyGo Diagnostics and Gemina Laboratories announced on Wednesday that they have entered into an assay development agreement for a rapid saliva-based test to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). The firms will develop a 30-minute assay to be used on the near-patient Geo instrument.
Under the agreement, Bath, UK-based ReadyGo will develop, optimize, and validate an MTB assay that Gemina Labs can run on the ReadyGo Geo platform. The Geo uses isothermal molecular amplification and provides results in less than 30 minutes, the firms said in a statement.
Molecular testing for MTB has been recommended by the World Health Organization as it has sensitivity advantages over traditional smear microscopy, particularly for patients who have trouble producing sputum samples, such as children and people with HIV.
"A low-cost triage tool that can replace smear microscopy is desperately needed, especially in places with limited resources," said Ben Cobb, CEO of ReadyGo Diagnostics.
Brian Firth, CEO of Vancouver, Canada-based Gemina Labs, also said that the partnership will help the companies create "a fast and accurate TB detection solution that can make a real difference in improving patient outcomes all around the world."
Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.