ImmPORT, FIND, and PHRI Announce Collaboration to Develop Diagnostic Reagents for TB
News May 16, 2006
ImmPORT Therapeutics Inc., the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), and the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI), have announced a collaboration to identify antigens useful for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).
"In response to the ever-growing threat to public health by infectious diseases, ImmPORT has developed a revolutionary technology that offers a fast and cost-effective platform for developing diagnostics and vaccines," said Dr. Xiaowu Liang, Chief Technical Officer of ImmPORT.
"We are very pleased that our technology can be put to use against a serious global health concern such as tuberculosis."
"FIND aims to reduce disease burden in developing countries through development of affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases," said Dr. Giorgio Roscigno, CEO of FIND.
"ImmPORT's technology enables us to identify and screen all antigens in the genome of the TB-causing bacterium in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost, of conventional technologies."
"The goal is to produce an accurate, point-of-care diagnostic test for TB based on an antibody marker test that is as easy to use as a pregnancy test."
Dr. David Perlin, President of PHRI, said, "This collaboration represents a major commitment to create a 'next generation' diagnostic product for TB, which can help mitigate the enormous global impact of this disease."
"We are delighted to have ImmPORT and FIND as partners in this important endeavor."
As stated in the collaborative development agreement, a multi-phase program will be supported by FIND under which antigens of diagnostic value for TB will be identified.
PHRI shall make its intellectual property available for the program and will identify antibody markers of the TB-causing bacterium using ImmPORT's whole-proteome microarray chip technology platform.
Mark Perkins, Chief Scientific Officer of FIND, states, "The development of a simple and accurate serodiagnostic test for tuberculosis has been tried for many years without much success."
"Only a small number of antigen targets have been used in such tests and, until now, no strategic approach to identify the best antigens has ever been mounted."
"This project will allow us to interrogate the entire proteome of the pathogen, and hopefully to identify a small subset of antigens that can successfully identify TB."