Akonni Biosystems Awarded Grant to Evaluate the TruDiagnosis® Molecular Diagnostics Platform for Use in Low Resource Settings

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Challenge grant, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, seeks a novel low-cost nucleic acid detection technology suitable for use in resource poor settings

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Akonni Biosystems, a molecular diagnostics (MDx) company that develops, manufactures, and intends to market advanced MDx systems, today announced it was chosen as a recipient for a challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant highlights the current unmet need for affordable, effective nucleic acid testing technologies that meet the requirements of resource-poor settings. This award reinforces Akonni’s position as a major contender in the global molecular diagnostics market – a critical component of Akonni’s corporate objectives – and complements another recently awarded grant from the Gates Foundation.

Under the current grant, the Gates Foundation will evaluate the suitability of Akonni’s proprietary TruDiagnosis® molecular testing platform to meet the necessary requirements for adoption in resource-poor settings (e.g. accuracy, ease of use and affordability). To do so, Akonni has been tasked with demonstrating the effectiveness of their nucleic acid detection technology by accurately identifying different pathogens from a panel of blinded nucleic acid samples prepared by PATH, an international nonprofit and leader in global health innovation. The results will be evaluated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using their validated benchmark assay.

“Our team is pleased to have received our second challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this year,” said Michael Reinemann, Director of Business Development for Akonni. “The first grant focused on Akonni’s front-end sample preparation technology with results to be published later this year, while this most recent grant focuses on Akonni’s back-end multiplexing detection platform. One of Akonni’s advantages is the flexibility of our TruDiagnosis® technology. Specifically, the platform was designed from the ground up to achieve three major design features: low cost, GMP scalability, and plug and play modularity of key critical components for customized user-work flows and ease-of-use. The modular components may exist as stand-alone products; however, Akonni’s fully-integrated, sample-to-answer system, the TruDx®3000, combines the front-end sample preparation with the back-end detection, allowing for accurate, affordable and rapid testing in remote settings at the point of care.” Akonni hopes that this second challenge grant will result in continued collaboration with the Gates Foundation, enabling further advancement and wider distribution of its effective and affordable MDx solutions.

For more information visit: http://www.akonni.com.

About Akonni Biosystems

Akonni Biosystems was founded in 2003 and has been issued 21 US and 36 International patents primarily covering sample preparation, microfluidic devices, bioinstrumentation, and integrated systems. Product development has been supported by a series of government grants and contracts from NIH, CDC, DOE, DOD, NIJ, and NSF. The company significantly advanced the original technology by improving the system’s capabilities from sample preparation to test result. Commercial products in Akonni’s near-term pipeline include rapid sample preparation technologies for nucleic acid extraction and multiplex panel assays for detecting clinically relevant genotypes for pharmacogenomics, human chronic diseases, and genotypes for infectious diseases such as multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB), upper respiratory infections, viral encephalitis, and hospital-acquired infections (MRSA).

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Michael Reinemann
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