Seraph Biosciences selected by NIH as RADx Participant in the War Against COVID-19
During the World War II era, MIT’s “Rad Lab” gave birth to radar—a groundbreaking technology that, for the first time, enabled humans to use radio waves that allowed the United States and its allies to “see” planes, storm systems, and other objects to help win the war. In the midst of a new war against COVID-19, the federal government in conjunction with the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NBIB) is once again calling upon American ingenuity to provide technology that will rapidly “see” SARS-CoV-2 infection and inform immediate treatment to restore a normal way of life.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., wrote in his April 29, 2020, blog that, “Speedy identification and quarantine of infected individuals and their contacts, will likely be a critical component of making it possible for Americans to get safely back into public spaces, including returning to work and school.”
With a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the aptly named Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative was conceived to infuse funding into early innovative technologies to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. After successfully completing the RADx rapid selection process, NIH awarded Seraph Biosciences, Inc. (Seraph) funding to advance the development of its novel point-of-care in vitro diagnostic, Seraspec®. The $250,000 award will be managed and distributed by the Consortia of Improving Medicine with Innovation & Technology (CIMIT) through the NIH Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) program. In addition to funding, Seraph will leverage expertise from CIMIT and POCTRN to oversee and help guide development, validation, and to further advance of the development of the technology toward commercialization for use in the diagnosis of viral infection.
Seraspec®’s proprietary technology has the potential to revolutionize point-of-care diagnostics with its unique capabilities for identifying live, phenotypic pathogens in real time. Seraspec® is reagentless and requires no amplification or antibodies to identify viral or bacterial pathogens representing a complete paradigm shift from existing molecular methods. “The Seraspec® platform can identify SARS-CoV-2 and other common viral and bacterial pathogens in clinical specimens” according to Greg Auner, PhD, Seraph’s Chief Science Officer, “The ability to distinguish between COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, including bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics at the point of care, is critical to an effective pandemic response.” With the resources and partnerships offered through RADx, Seraph comes one step closer to realizing the powerful potential of the Seraspec® platform and helping America win the war against COVID-19.
CIMIT & POCTRN
Seraph has received support to advance the diagnostic technology from CIMIT through the POCTRN program. CIMIT and POCTRN are supported by the RADx program and have been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant No. U54EB015408.
Seraph Biosciences, Inc. (www.seraspec.com) is a Molecular Diagnostics Company dedicated to commercializing Seraspec® – A Proprietary, Fully-Automated, Miniaturized Raman Spectroscopy Platform capable of broad-based pathogen identification (ID) in 3-5 minutes.