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Catalysis Foundation for Health Receives $5 Million Grant for Tuberculosis Diagnostic Biomarker Research


2/10/2010 8:48:10 AM

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Catalysis Foundation for Health (Catalysis), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit entity dedicated to developing sustainable diagnostics for the developing world, announced today that it has received a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant money will be used to discover new tuberculosis (TB) biomarkers that can be used to improve diagnostic tests and potentially develop more effective TB treatments.

Catalysis' biomarker identification initiative is designed to have major global public health applications. Its research efforts will focus on collecting and analyzing a comprehensive set of samples from TB patients in several countries. Scientists will use these samples to identify and apply biomarkers for use in next-generation "bacterial load" diagnostic assays, analogous to HIV viral load assays so effectively used in managing AIDS patients. These "bacterial load" assays, which measure the amount of bacteria in the body, could also lead to a more rapid, precise and efficient approach to developing effective TB drugs by providing a better indication of a patient's response to treatment.

About the Research Project and the Catalysis Foundation's Mission

Catalysis will collect and analyze thousands of biofluid samples from patient populations in multiple countries to identify nucleic acid and lipid biomarkers that correlate directly with the infected individual's "bacterial load." Samples from several different biofluids will be collected and correlated with clinical measurements and patient status. These discoveries will lead to the future development of novel, validated assays to guide more targeted and effective diagnosis, treatment and outcomes.

"Catalysis is forging a new model in private/public partnerships to attract the funding and amass the talents and technologies necessary to facilitate the development of life-saving, sustainable diagnostics to address major healthcare challenges," said David Ho, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. "ADARC is pleased to have supported the Foundation's establishment and believes their work in leveraging the tools of science, technology, and commerce to eradicate disease will improve human health in emerging countries."

Tuberculosis: A Global Epidemic

About Catalysis Foundation for Health

CONTACT: Richard M. Thayer, Chief Executive of The Catalysis Foundation
for Health, +1-925-487-3247, rthayer@catalysisfoundation.org; or media,
Kimberly A. Kraemer, +1-415-939-9033, kakraemer@comcast.net, or Jane M.
Green, +1-415-348-0010, jane@jmgcomm.com, both of Kraemer & Company for The
Catalysis Foundation for Health

Web site: http://www.catalysisfoundation.org/
http://www.gatesfoundation.org/


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