Nanogen Awarded $2.5 Million Grant for Development of Diagnostics for Sepsis and Pneumonia


SAN DIEGO -- Nanogen, Inc. a developer of advanced diagnostic products, announced today that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the company a grant in the amount of $2.5 million over the next five years for a research project to develop a prototype fully integrated diagnostic system for clinical labs to identify infectious agents that cause sepsis and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).  The grant will enable Nanogen to develop improved molecular biological methods, miniaturize those methods, and demonstrate the performance of this new molecular diagnostic approach to diagnose sepsis and CAP in a hospital laboratory setting.

Full laboratory work-ups to specifically determine the cause of sepsis or pneumonia from the large number of possible disease-causing bacterial and viral agents is time-consuming and expensive.  In addition, broad-spectrum antibiotics, which may not effectively treat patients, are often administered while awaiting test results.  Nanogen will be using its proprietary chemistry and multiplex detection technologies and employing the Medical College of Wisconsin's technologies and clinical and microbiological expertise.  The goal of this partnership is to develop an automated diagnostic system that would be able to rapidly detect a number of bacteria and viruses that cause sepsis and pneumonia in patients.

"In previous government grant programs, Nanogen greatly reduced the size of its instrument and integrated essential biological sample preparation, amplification and detection technologies to design a sample-to-answer diagnostic system," said Howard C. Birndorf, Nanogen's chairman of the board and CEO.  "This NIAID/NIH research program will further the design of a sophisticated prototype assay and instrument system and sepsis and pneumonia detection panels to help physicians expedite test results in the hospital lab and make better treatment decisions."

Mortality from sepsis can range from 28 percent to 50 percent.  In addition, pneumonia remains the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.  Estimates of the incidence of CAP range from 4 to 5 million cases per year.  Early identification and appropriate treatment of the underlying cause of sepsis and pneumonia will improve patient outcomes.

Source: Nanogen, Inc.


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