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Wednesday, April 21st, 2021

CARB-X awards contract for development of antibiotic susceptibility testing device

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Avails Medical, a Menlo Park, California diagnostics company, has secured an award worth up to $2.5 million from CARB-X to develop an electronic antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) device.

The innovation would expedite healthcare providers’ ability to determine the most effective antibiotic treatment for serious and life-threatening blood infections via electronic biosensors fitting onto commercially available AST panels.

“Speed is a critical component of effectively diagnosing and treating serious antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, including bloodstream infections,” Erin Duffy, chief of Research and Development of CARB-X, said.

CARB-X is a global non-profit partnership based at Boston University School of Law funding and supporting the development of new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics, and other products to address antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The award is worth up to $2.5 million, plus up to $14.7 million more if the Avails project progresses successfully in later phases, subject to available funds.

“Currently, it can take days to identify which antibiotics are most effective to treat a lethal bacterial infection in the bloodstream,”
Oren Knopfmacher, CEO of Avails Medical, said. “The Avails eAST technology aims to provide phenotypic results within four hours from a positive blood culture sample, which is critical to guide antibiotic therapy decisions especially in multi-drug resistance infections.”

Researchers indicated the technology is easy-to-use and could be ideal for smaller community-based hospitals and clinics to expedite the delivery of information critical for treatment decisions.