Inflammatix receives $12.1 million from BARDA for POC system development

Nov. 19, 2021

Inflammatix, based in Bulingame, CA, said it received a contract extension of $12.1 million from the U.S. government to support the continued development of a point-of-care (POC) test that identifies whether an infection is viral or bacterial. The funding is part of a contract worth up to $72 million if all options are exercised.

The funding is from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

The test, ViraBac EZTM, which uses a capillary blood sample, reads gene expression patterns in the immune system to identify whether a suspected infection is bacterial or viral.

The funding also supports development of the sample-to-answer, POC system on which ViraBac EZ, and all Inflammatix’s tests, are run, the company said. The system is designed to read mRNA and analyze the results using a machine learning algorithm to produce answers in less than 30 minutes, the company said.

The idea behind a rapid POC test that distinguishes between viral and bacterial infections is that it would help providers determine whether to prescribe an antibiotic to a sick patient, potentially reducing the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions. Currently, an estimated 30 percent of antibiotics are inappropriately prescribed to patients because their infections are not obviously bacterial or viral in origin, the company said, citing a 2015 article in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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