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CARB-X Awards Additional $1.7M for Specific Diagnostics' Antibiotic Susceptibility Test

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Specific Diagnostics announced today that CARB-X has awarded $1.7 million in second-stage funding for development of its Reveal rapid antibiotic susceptibility test (AST) instrument, based on the firm achieving development and testing milestones.

Mountain View, California-based Specific Diagnostics said that the additional funding will enable its preparation for clinical trials this year. It is readying the system for regulatory validation to enable its launch and use in hospitals.

CARB-X, a global partnership funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), had awarded the firm $1.7 million in first-stage funding in April 2018.

The first-stage CARB-X funding helped Specific Diagnostics develop the AST system, the company said.

It is developing the system to provide same-day susceptibility results in testing for drug-resistant infections and to replacing current lengthy laboratory testing processes that can take two days to determine the susceptibility of a superbug infection. The Reveal system can provide rapid AST results in about four hours following inoculation with a positive blood culture sample or isolate dilution, according to Specific Diagnostics.

Specific Diagnostics' technology uses low-cost proprietary printed arrays of highly sensitive volatile-responsive indicators to obtain a profile of organism-specific small-molecule metabolite mixtures that bacteria emit when they are being grown in cultures. The indicators enable the system to detect bacterial growth, identify microorganisms, and determine antibiotic efficacy, the firm said. Reveal's accuracies of minimum inhibitory concentration — a measure of susceptibility — meet those of gold standard broth microdilution methods, it added.

The firm anticipates the platform will be available to clinical labs in Europe and the US this year, CEO Paul Rhodes said in a statement, adding that the simplicity of its instrument and disposable component provides for robust performance, ease of use, and high throughput "at a price low enough to prompt widespread adoption."