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CARB-X Provides Module Innovations $3.2M for UTI Diagnostic

NEW YORK – The Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, announced today that it will fund Pune, India-based Module Innovations with up to $3.2 million to develop a two-hour urinary tract infection diagnostic that can provide information about antibiotic resistance.

Module will receive $702,000 initially with up to an additional $2.5 million in milestone funds, to further develop a cartridge-based platform called ASTSENSe that identifies drug-resistant urinary tract infection bacteria. The platform uses a technology called size dependent signal amplification by nanoparticles, or SDSAN, and performs phenotypic bacterial identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

ASTSENSe is designed to be useful in every healthcare setting, including low and middle income countries, Sachin Dubey, CEO and cofounder of Module Innovations noted in a statement.

Erin Duffy, chief of research and development at CARB-X, said that rapid diagnostics are "urgently needed" to help ensure that UTI patients receive effective treatment as quickly as possible. "This technology, if successful, could provide health professionals with fast and accurate information, accelerating the delivery of effective therapeutics to patients, saving lives, and reducing the risk of contributing to drug resistance," she said.

CARB-X is a global non-profit partnership aimed at accelerating early development of antibacterial research and development. The partnership is led by Boston University with funding provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the Wellcome Trust, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany, the UK Department of Health and Social Care's Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with in-kind support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

CARB-X will invest up to $500 million between 2016 and 2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics. The partnership has funded 63 companies to date, with Module being the first India-based diagnostics company to receive the award.