InnoTech awarded RADx-rad funding to develop new rapid, low cost COVID-19 detection technology
LOWELL, Mass., March 22, 2021 -- Innotech, Inc. Precision Medicine, a point-of-care diagnostics platform developer, received a RADx-rad grant from the National Institutes of Health for work it will conduct in collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Chemical Engineering and clinicians at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The company is developing a new device for early detection of COVID-19, other infectious diseases, and cancer.
"The RADx-rad grant and the collaboration with top academic and clinical researchers will accelerate our research and development to earn regulatory approval," said Dr. Roya Khosravi-Far, InnoTech co-founder and CEO.
InnoTech's technology, called Recognize, uses multiplexed synthetic molecular recognition biosensors to rapidly detect disease markers from liquid biopsy in one easy to use, rapid, and accurate test, providing results which are currently obtained by more costly and time-consuming RT-PCR and antibody/antigen tests. The reusable device will make early point of care and even at-home testing affordable and reliable.
The NIH's RADx program launched in April 2020 to accelerate innovation in COVID-19 testing. To date, it has awarded over $1.3 billion to support testing and surveillance tools and reimagined uses of existing tools. RADx-rad specifically focuses on "non-traditional viral screening approaches, such as biological or physiological markers, new analytical platforms with novel chemistries or engineering, rapid detection strategies, point-of-care devices, and home-based testing technologies," according to the NIH.
"Innovative diagnostics like Recognize are desperately needed for the effort to detect and contain infectious diseases like COVID-19," said Dr, James Kirby, and Dr. Ramy Arnaout, director and associate director respectively for the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who have been leading response to the disease since its outbreak in the US.
Though InnoTech's initial focus is on COVID-19 diagnostics, as a platform the technology can be easily adapted to detect other infectious diseases and diseases like cancer that have identifiable biomarkers. Combined with its "minimally-equipped" format—meaning it doesn't require resource intensive materials and processing equipment—it can dramatically accelerate testing results and expand access, especially to populations with limited access to medical care.
"When launched, Recognize will not only reduce the financial burden of COVID-19 testing by replacing techniques that are less accurate and efficient, it will also provide a humanitarian value because it can be used at home in telehealth service and field-deployed to congregational places," said Dr. Khosravi-Far.