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NIH Grants HelixBind $3M for Early Detection Lyme Test

NEW YORK – Infectious disease diagnostic company HelixBind announced Thursday it has received $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to evaluate the company's early detection test for Lyme disease. 

The money is to support clinical studies evaluating the test, which detects DNA from tick-borne bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi directly from the patient's blood. The test has a limit of detection of less than 1 cell per milliliter and can detect the infection at "the earliest timepoint," the company said in a statement.

HelixBind CEO Alon Singer said diagnosis of Lyme disease is currently limited by the sensitivity of existing tests, so "this new grant from the NIH will help us demonstrate whether the improved sensitivity of our test can improve diagnosis." 

The firm has clinical studies planned for 2021's tick season and is looking to add additional clinical partners, it said.