December 16, 2014

Governor Patrick, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Announce $1 Million Grant to Fund Research and Development of Ebola Diagnostic Test

Governor Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced a $1 million challenge grant to support a partnership of life sciences companies, NGO’s and academic institutions, led by Diagnostics For All, that is working to develop an improved, fast and accurate diagnostic test for Ebola. Participating organizations in the partnership include Diagnostics For All (DFA), Harvard University, the Broad Institute, UMass Medical School, GE Healthcare, Cambridge Consultants, Eiken, BBI Solutions, IMPACT Technology Development and WellBody Alliance in Sierra Leone. The goal of the partnership is to speed the launch of an improved Ebola diagnostic tool to within months versus years. The test, incorporating isothermal nucleic acid amplification on a paper substrate, is simple to administer and is the first of its kind to offer disposable molecular diagnostics (MDx) capabilities without requiring analysis in a laboratory or additional instruments, as needed for current MDx tests.  The reduced cost and ease of use is expected to facilitate earlier diagnosis of Ebola and in many more settings than is currently possible.