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ProteinLogic Awarded Grant for Rapid Tuberculosis Test

Ithaka is pleased to announce that ProteinLogic, a biomarker discovery and exploitation company, Microtest Diagnostics, an in vitro diagnostic protein multiplexing company, and its collaborators have been awarded a grant by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to help support the development of MICROLOGIC™, a rapid point-of-care test for tuberculosis. Ithaka’s founder and Managing Director, Dr Paul Rodgers, is Executive Chairman of ProteinLogic.

Almost 9m new cases of TB occur annually and there are over 1m deaths every year despite most cases being curable. More than 3m people contracting TB each year go undiagnosed and untreated according to the World Health Organisation. WHO is now calling for accelerated uptake of new tools and strategies for better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all forms of TB. The MICROLOGIC™ test will enable the rapid differentiation of the active and latent forms of TB using a simple blood sample that can be taken and analysed at the point-of-care.

The three year £1.8m project will integrate ProteinLogic's unique panel of biomarker proteins with Microtest Diagnostic’s CE-marked rapid diagnostic platform which can rapidly determine levels of multiple proteins in blood within a few hours and is suitable for use in a local doctor’s office. The Technology Strategy Board funding will be used to create a prototype device for rapid, point-of-care human TB diagnostics.

The consortium has been enhanced by the expertise of various global academic TB Groups who are currently working in the field to help eradicate the disease and who understand, first hand, what is needed for a rapid TB diagnostic. These include the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the University of Sheffield and the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Dr Ruth McNerney of LSHTM and Prof Keertan Dehda of UCT are members of the STOP TB Working Group on New Diagnostics and Dr McNerney chairs the subgroup on point-of-care tests. She is also an advisor to the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on TB.

ProteinLogic’s Chairman Dr Paul Rodgers said: “We are thrilled that the Technology Strategy Board is funding this exciting collaboration. We are looking forward to working with our partners to develop a prototype device and accelerate the application of this innovation to the benefit of patients.”

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