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Genedrive Receives UK NIHR Grant for Antibiotic-Related Hearing Loss Assay

This story has been updated from a previous version to include information about NIHR funding for the antibiotic-related hearing loss test.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genedrive said today that it has received £550,000 ($725,730) as part of a larger multi-partner grant from the UK National Institute for Health Research to develop and implement a point-of-care test to avoid antibiotic-related hearing loss in newborns.

The Development and Implementation of a Point-of-Care Pharmacogenetic Test to Avoid Antibiotic Related Hearilng Loss in Neonates research project will start immediately, with an expected one-year development phase and a trial implementation phase in certain National Health Service hospitals the following year.

Genedrive's saliva-based test detects a mitochondrial mutation in patients that causes them to react poorly to gentamicin, and the 40-minute test allows doctors to select alternative antibiotics for such patients. Genedrive will be receiving £550,000 for its share of the multi-year £900,000 grant. 

"The [National Health Service] is a huge marketplace, and if adopted, this would be the first placement of Genedrive in a developed world healthcare setting," Genedrive CEO David Budd said in statement.

The firm expects to finalize the income's exact amount and timing shortly after signing a collaboration agreement.

William Newman, associate professor of translational genomic medicine at the University of Manchester, will be leading the consortium. The team includes partners from the Liverpool and Manchester Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

"Successful implementation would be a first in the integration of a rapid decision-making, genetic-based diagnostic in the UK NHS," Newman said in a statement.

For a more in-depth story on the assay under development, click here.