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HelixBind Awarded $3MM Grant from NIH for New Rapid Test for the Early Detection of Lyme Disease

HelixBind, which is developing an innovative diagnostic platform to revolutionize care for patients afflicted with invasive microbial infections, announced today that it has been awarded a new $3MM grant from the NIH to support clinical studies evaluating the company’s early detection test for Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease, caused by the tick-borne bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, is a serious health concern in North America with approximately 300,000 cases annually. If diagnosed early and treated with appropriate antibiotics, recovery is generally rapid and complete. Delays in treatment, however, can result in debilitating complications such as arthritis, cardiac abnormalities, or neurological conditions. Unfortunately, definitive diagnosis of Lyme Disease is difficult today as early symptoms are often non-descript including headaches, muscle or joint pain, and fevers. While, the most telling indication of an acute infection is a localized rash often resembling a bullseye, this feature appears in only two-thirds of cases of which over half are atypical, making diagnosis both difficult and subjective.

HelixBind’s test detects DNA from Borrelia directly from a patient’s blood and has a limit of detection below 1 cell/ml, roughly 100x more sensitive than today’s best commercial PCR-based tests. Unlike frequently used serological tests, direct detection of DNA has the potential to detect an infection at the earliest timepoint, precisely when antibiotics are most effective.

“HelixBind’s novel diagnostic platform makes it possible for us to detect invasive infections early,” said Alon Singer, CEO of HelixBind. “Diagnosis of Lyme Disease today is limited by the sensitivity of existing tests. This new grant from the NIH will help us demonstrate whether the improved sensitivity of our test can improve diagnosis and help those afflicted with Lyme Disease.”

HelixBind has clinical studies planned for the 2021 tick season and is looking to sign up additional clinical partners.

About HelixBind 

HelixBind is developing an innovative diagnostic platform to revolutionize care for invasive infections such as sepsis. Its novel platform provides faster, more accurate, and more informative microbiology results, assisting clinicians in precisely identifying bloodstream infections and developing personalized antimicrobial interventions for infected patients. This approach can improve outcomes, save lives, and reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

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