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Wyss Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital Launch Diagnostic Technology Accelerator

NEW YORK — Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Brigham and Women's Hospital said on Friday that they have launched a research accelerator focused on developing diagnostic technologies for unmet needs.

Through the Brigham-Wyss Diagnostic Accelerator, Brigham and Women's investigators will identify diagnostic challenges that will be matched with technologies created by Wyss engineers, then jointly validated and optimized in clinical settings.

Specifically, the accelerator will use an online portal to solicit proposals from clinical advocates for diagnostic tests, with the most promising ideas selected by a clinical advisory board composed of both Harvard-affiliated and external clinicians and entrepreneurs.

Wyss investigators will identify the biomarkers and analytical performance criteria to meet the selected tests' clinical specifications, then match these requirements to existing technologies or create new ones that meet the diagnostic need. The resulting tests and devices will be validated under CLIA conditions by Brigham and Women's scientists, who will be trained in their use by Wyss staff.

"We believe that the Brigham-Wyss DxA can be a highly effective instrument to bring much needed diagnostic capabilities in a much shorter timeframe to patients in need and reduce often staggering medical costs from misdiagnosis," Rushdy Ahmad, a Wyss researcher and Brigham-Wyss DxA co-lead, said in a statement. "As a new model, it has potential to attract the support from industry partners, philanthropic organizations, government and international agencies, non-governmental organizations, and additional collaborators."

Wyss scientist David Walt is also co-leading the new accelerator.