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SBIR Phase II:A Rapid, Sensitive Pathogen Typing and Antibiotic Sensitivity Test for Bloodstream Infections (COVID-19)

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2212920
Agency Tracking Number: 2212920
Amount: $999,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: BT
Solicitation Number: NSF 21-565
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-12-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-11-30
Small Business Information
2901 East Gate City Blvd Suite 2400
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Rachel Tinker-Kulberg
 (919) 928-6491
Business Contact
 Rachel Tinker-Kulberg
Phone: (919) 928-6491
Research Institution

The broader impact of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project seeks to develop an improved era of infectious disease management, allowing rapid intervention for antibiotic therapy to stem the 30% mortality rate and associated cost impact of sepsis. With some 49 million cases worldwide and a 25-30% mortality rate, sepsis claims 11 million lives annually. Sepsis cases have been increasing 8.7% per year. To address the full spectrum of infectious diseases, innovations must deliver simple and affordable testing capabilities similar to routine hospital admission blood analyses. The proposed antifungal and antibacterial susceptibility test for the detection and treatment of bloodstream infections could benefit patients by improving patient management and hospital logistics. Sepsis is the most expensive healthcare challenge, with an estimated financial impact of more than $62 billion per year. This bloodstream infection screening assay could impact the entire continuum of care – from initial hospital interactions through patient care and discharge – by identifying infections early, optimizing treatment, and increasing survival. Direct customer survey-based estimates and independent information sources project a U.S. commercial opportunity of 226 million annual assays (36 million hospital admissions, 40 million intensive care patients, 130 million emergency walk-ins, and 20 million presurgical evaluations)._x000D__x000D_
The proposed project could result in the development of a user-friendly and affordable analytical tool for early detection of bloodstream infections that differentiates bacterial and fungal pathogens associated with sepsis and determine their antibiotic sensitivity in hours. Sepsis is a major public health and economic concern that results in one human death every 2.8 seconds. If bloodstream infections go undetected or untreated, patients can quickly escalate into sepsis or septic shock with mortality chances increasing by 8% per hour without appropriate antibiotic administration. Rapid and accurate detection of a bloodstream infections prior to the onset of sepsis is critical to limit the extent of tissue and organ damage, mortality, and associated hospital costs. The proposed innovation includes the use of an FDA-approved reagent called Limulus Amebocyte Lysate for clinical bloodstream infections and antifungal antibacterial susceptibility testing to guide therapeutic interventions, and routine surveillance of high-risk patient populations. The technical approach for this Phase II encompasses proficiency studies that would validate high-throughput detection of pathogens, as well as their antimicrobial sensitivity and resistance profiles in clinical blood specimens. Additionally, assay miniaturization and automation would be performed and are considered critical for future in vitro diagnostic partnership adoption._x000D_
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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