Baebies awarded up to $11.6 million to develop a rapid diagnostic platform for sepsis

April 26, 2021

Baebies, a growth-stage company developing innovative products to enable early disease detection and comprehensive diagnosis, announced that CARB-X has awarded the company up to $11.6 million in non-dilutive funding. This funding will support the development of a near-patient and rapid diagnostic platform for sepsis – specially focused on addressing the unique needs of neonatal and pediatric populations.

The CARB-X award consists of $3.9 million in initial funding with up to $7.7 million of milestone-based funding. CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership, provides funding and support for projects that target drug-resistant bacteria deemed "serious" or "urgent" on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antibiotic Resistant Threats list or Critical or High on the World Health Organization’s Priority Bacterial Pathogens list.

Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection caused by bacteria, including drug-resistant bacteria, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sepsis leads to approximately one million newborn deaths per year globally.

“There is a critical need for a rapid and easy-to-use diagnostic platform for bacteremia – especially for the newborn population given the low circulating blood volume available for testing. Through this CARB-X partnership, the development of blood culture and identification of bacteria on our FINDER platform not only enables clinicians to receive results fast, but also conserves the limited blood volume by maximizing the diagnostic yield,” said Vamsee Pamula, Co-Founder and President.

Powered by digital microfluidics technology, Baebies’ FINDER is a fully-automated, single sample testing platform that the company says will be further enhanced to perform blood culture, identification (ID), and antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST). By integrating blood culture with the microfluidic cartridge, users will be provided information on ID/AST and gram status in real time without the need for any hands-on intervention. In addition to blood culture, the platform will also be able to measure expression levels of various genes from just 125 microliters of whole blood to distinguish between different causes of inflammatory responses.

The underlying digital microfluidics (DMF) technology is a method to manipulate tiny droplets of liquid by electrical control of surface tension on a disposable cartridge. Baebies’ FINDER has recently won the prestigious 2020 AACC Disruptive Technology Award and has been named a finalist for the Medical Device Excellence Awards (MDEA) 2021.

CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) is a global non-profit partnership dedicated to supporting early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is led by Boston University and is headquartered at Boston University School of Law.

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