NIH Awards Grant to Enable Biosciences to Develop Improved Lyme Disease Test
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded a one-year Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant for $225,000 in funding to Enable Biosciences to develop an improved Lyme disease test.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 300,000 people will be infected with Lyme disease each year in the United States. The current test identifies only 40% of early-stage cases, leaving many patients untreated and vulnerable to severe damage to the joints, heart and brain. Enable Biosciences' Antibody Detection by Agglutination-PCR (ADAP) technology is up to 10,000 times more sensitive than comparable tests, permitting earlier and more accurate detection of Lyme disease. The test will also better distinguish between Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, such as tick-borne relapsing fever and babesiosis, that require different treatment regimens.
Columbia and Tulane universities are sub-awardees of the grant.
"We are thrilled to be working on this collaborative project with two highly-acclaimed researchers, professors Monica Embers, Ph.D., of Tulane University, and Brynn Levy, M.Sc. (Med)., Ph.D., of Columbia University," said Enable Biosciences CEO David Seftel, M.D., MBA. "We anticipate that Enable's tests will advance the treatment, clinical outcomes, and management of tick-borne diseases."
Dr. Embers is a world-leading expert on Lyme disease and is affiliated with the Tulane National Primate Research Center, one of the first centers to develop a primate model of Lyme disease. She also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation. Dr. Levy is Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and Medical Director of Columbia's Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory. He will contribute archived serum samples and oversee clinical validation for the project.
"We will automate this test in a Phase II project so that earlier and more accurate diagnosis will be widely available," said Enable Automation Lead Jesse Cortez, Ph.D.
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Research reported in this press release is supported by the NIAID of the National Institutes of Health under award number NIH 1R43AI142936-01. Content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.