(BOSTON, MA) —Aldatu Biosciences, a biotechnology company developing gold standard molecular diagnostic assays and based real-time PCR, today announced it has been awarded a $3 Million Direct-to-Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award will fund the continued advancement of the company’s proprietary PANDAA™ technology platform and its specific application to the first universal, pan-filovirus detection and differentiation of Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus, the causative agents of Ebola Virus Disease and Marburg Virus Disease.
There is an urgent global unmet market need for a standardized, commercially available pan-species filovirus test that is accessible to resource-limited settings, especially considering the growing reach of the filovirus family as evidenced by the first-ever outbreak in Tanzania that was reported on March 21, 2023. With a case fatality rate of 88%, Marburg is one of the deadliest of the hemorrhagic fevers. The WHO reported that the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa generated more than 28,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and the CDC reported that more than $3.6 billion was spent to fight the epidemic.
Challenges associated with filovirus biology have previously limited the performance of qPCR in filovirus diagnostics. Many filovirus tests are lab-developed tests and are not available for broad commercial use. Also, current RT-PCR LDTs are only able to detect regionally endemic clades.