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US DoD, Henry M. Jackson Foundation Award LightDeck Dx $2M for Multiplexed Respiratory Illness Test

NEW YORK ─ LightDeck Diagnostics announced Wednesday that it has received a $2 million contract from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine to develop a rapid, quantitative, multiplexed test that uses inflammation biomarkers known as cytokines and chemokines to diagnose respiratory illness.

The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and the US Department of Defense awarded funding for the contract.

Boulder, Colorado-based LightDeck said the funding will support a study that leverages its inflammation panel and provides an evaluation of clinical, regulatory, and commercial requirements.

"With this project, we aim to validate the effectiveness of our inflammation panel for COVID-19, which is the first step towards delivering a larger triage panel for respiratory failure caused by a variety of conditions," Nick Traggis, CEO of LightDeck, said in a statement.

Specifically, the panel will target the detection of C-reactive proteins, inducible-proteins 10 (IP-10 or CXCL-10), and other inflammatory markers.

LightDeck said that as part of the project, it will develop plans to bring the test to market through US Food and Drug Administration IVD regulatory pathways. The Austere environments Consortium for Enhanced Sepsis Outcomes team at HJF will develop machine learning algorithms derived from ongoing clinical research efforts. LightDeck will also work with JPEO on additional testing opportunities for biothreat readiness.

The LightDeck Analyzer, which leverages planar waveguide technology, enables the development of quantitative tests for dozens of biomarkers on a single cartridge. According to the firm, healthcare providers can implement the analyzer in labs, hospitals, clinics, or at the point of care.

Last July, the DoD and US Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $35.1 million contract to LightDeck to increase manufacturing capacity for its COVID-19 Ultra-Rapid Antigen and Total Antibody tests.