Biopromic AB announced a technology co-development and license agreement with The Global Good Fund, managed by Intellectual Ventures, to develop a rapid, low-cost and high-sensitivity diagnostic test for the detection of tuberculosis (TB), one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The partnership will combine Global Good’s assay platform with Biopromic’s proprietary technologies in sample preparation and high-sensitivity antibodies to improve the accessibility of accurate TB testing in low- and middle-income countries
Despite significant progress made in recent decades, TB still kills 1.8 million people and another 10.4 million develop the disease every year – the majority of whom live in low-income countries. The disease, which spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing and even talking, is the leading killer of people living with HIV.
The most commonly accessible diagnostic tool, microscopy, may detect only half of all TB cases at best. Two other tests — nucleic acid amplification and conventional growth detection — are accurate, but their use in low-resource settings is limited by high cost, the need for specialized laboratory equipment, turnaround time, and the complexity of handling and incubating biological samples and interpreting results.
The test developed by Biopromic and Global Good will be similar in format to a home pregnancy test and use a patient’s urine or blood sample to detect bacteria associated with the disease.
“In order to identify and treat all TB patients and stop the spread of the disease, frontline health workers need a simple, but highly accurate diagnostic test that can be used close to where patients live,” said David Bell, Director of Global Health Technologies supporting Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates.“If we can develop such a low-cost tool, this could transform the fight against TB,” added Bell.
“Biopromic’s partnership with Global Good will significantly accelerate our efforts to bring a point-of-care TB diagnostic to the market, and ensure that TB testing is accessible to those who need it the most,” said Lech Ignatowicz, CEO of Biopromic.
About Global Good
Global Good is a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates to invent technology that improves life in low- and middle-income countries. With support from a coalition of NGO, government and business partners, we conceive, develop and deploy inventions for the poorest parts of the world. Global Good combines Intellectual Ventures’ unique invention prowess with the expertise of leading humanitarian organizations, forward-looking governments, and commercial partners that share our vision. Together, we invent, develop, and deploy commercially-viable technologies that improve life in developing countries. www.globalgood.com
Biopromic is working to change the future of rapid, point-of-care diagnostics for the detection of infectious diseases. A spectrum of Biopromic’s proprietary technologies allows for the development of simple-to-use and affordable tests for clinical and veterinary settings. Biopromic specializes in the production of ultra-sensitive monoclonal antibodies targeted primarily against carbohydrate antigens derived from bacteria and viruses. Biopromic also produces a wide range of bacterial antigens and their analogs. Biopromic is a privately held company established in 2006 in Poland. In 2017, Biopromic opened its new R&D facility at Karolinska Institutet Science Park in Stockholm, Sweden. www.biopromic.com
Extensive information on tuberculosis (TB) epidemic and its devastating impact on global health can be found at: WHO Global Tuberculosis Rapport 2016