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Beckman Coulter Partners With Mass General to Evaluate Pediatric Infection Dx

NEW YORK – Beckman Coulter announced on Monday that it will partner with Massachusetts General Hospital to validate a screening tool to detect severe infections in children in emergency departments.

The trial will also receive unspecified funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The multicenter trial will examine the use of Beckman's monocyte distribution width (MDW) hematology biomarker assay in the rapid identification of children presenting with early signs of severe illness from infection, Danaher subsidiary Beckman Coulter said in a statement.

MDW is a tool based on routinely ordered blood tests and can be reported as an additional parameter on complete blood count (CBC) results, the firm said. It is currently the only US Food and Drug Administration-cleared blood biomarker to aid in detecting adult sepsis in the emergency department and is available as a standard component of a CBC performed on Beckman Coulter's DxH 900 and 690T hematology analyzers.

The tool was previously trialed under a BARDA contract at Mass General and other hospitals to aid in detection of SARS-CoV-2-related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

"We are thrilled to be partnering with pediatricians at Mass General to investigate the utility of MDW in identifying children at risk of adverse outcomes due to infection," Julie Sawyer Montgomery, president of Beckman Coulter, said in a statement.

"Along with the award from BARDA, Beckman Coulter is committing additional funds to this partnership," she said. "We are invested in establishing the performance of MDW in the pediatric population and in continuing our commitment to clinical evidence for use of MDW, and other novel hematological biomarkers," Sawyer added.

Additional financial details were not disclosed.