UNITED KINGDOM — LumiraDx has secured US$14.2m in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the ongoing development of its point-of-care molecular tuberculosis (TB) test system.

The point-of-care diagnostics company is designing the molecular TB test for use with its LumiraDx multi-assay Platform to provide accurate results at a low price.

LumiraDx said that its multi-assay platform is the only point-of-care instrument that supports both molecular and immunoassay technologies and runs various sample types.

The company said that its point-of-care TB test will help clinicians to start the treatment process and manage the patient properly to contain the further spread of infection.

LumiraDx CEO Ron Zwanziger said: “The advancement of our TB molecular test signifies an important step forward in LumiraDx’s mission to increase access to accurate and affordable testing worldwide as well as an important step forward in our molecular testing technology.”

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2022 Global Tuberculosis Report, the gap in TB infection and its diagnosis widened in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019.

LumiraDx claimed that its molecular TB test is designed to fill these gaps and requirements in the TB testing market and increase access to testing.

WHO indicates that the number of Tuberculosis infections have increased by 4.5% between 2020 and 2021 with 1.6 million deaths.

Furthermore, the burden of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) also increased by 3% in the period. To address this crisis, a substantial new supply of molecular TB tests is required.

London-based LumiraDx said that with support from the foundation, it is developing the system to provide testing at a lower cost and incorporate a tongue swab that makes it easier for the majority of patients to be tested.

LumiraDx’s diagnostic testing solutions are being deployed globally by governments and leading healthcare institutions across laboratories, urgent care, physician offices, pharmacies, schools, and workplaces to help screen, diagnose, and monitor wellness as well as disease.

The LumiraDx Platform, which is portable, weighs only 1.1kg, and uses a rechargeable battery, allows the TB test to be used across countries with limited access to labs.

LumiraDx has already started pre-clinical studies of the TB molecular test in Africa. The LumiraDx point-of-care platform supports both molecular and immunoassay technologies.

Last month, the company rolled out its C-Reactive Protein (CRP) point-of-care antigen test in India to help reduce undesired antibiotic prescribing that leads to antimicrobial resistance.

The new point of care, easy-to-use, rapid microfluidic immunoassay has been designed to quickly quantify the CRP levels in whole blood and plasma.

It uses a finger-prick blood sample and provides results in four minutes on the portable LumiraDx Platform.

The measurement of CRP levels provides information to detect and assess infection, inflammation disorders, tissue injury, and related illnesses.

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