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Visby Medical Secures $1.8 Million Grant to Develop Rapid Gonorrhea Diagnostic Tool

Visby Medical secures a $1.8 million grant from CARB-X to develop a rapid, portable diagnostic tool for gonorrhea, detecting the bacterium and its susceptibility to ciprofloxacin. The company also plans to expand testing to include Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis, with the potential to revolutionize STI testing and antibiotic stewardship.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Visby Medical Secures $1.8 Million Grant to Develop Rapid Gonorrhea Diagnostic Tool

Visby Medical Secures $1.8 Million Grant to Develop Rapid Gonorrhea Diagnostic Tool

In the ongoing battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a Californian diagnostics company has received a significant boost. Visby Medical, a trailblazer in sexual health, has secured a $1.8 million grant from CARB-X to develop a rapid, portable diagnostic tool for gonorrhea.

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A New Weapon Against Antibiotic Resistance

CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) is recognized globally for its commitment to supporting innovative products targeting drug-resistant bacteria. Visby Medical's project stands out as it aims to create a diagnostic device capable of detecting Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium responsible for gonorrhea, and identifying its susceptibility to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.

The rapid spread of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea strains worldwide necessitates this timely intervention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), gonorrhea was the second most prevalent bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) globally in 2020, with 82 million reported cases.

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Expanding the Testing Horizon

Visby Medical intends to utilize the CARB-X funding to broaden its testing scope. In addition to developing the gonorrhea diagnostic tool, the company plans to create a test for urine samples from men that can diagnose not only gonorrhea but also Chlamydia trachomatis and Trichomonas vaginalis.

This expansion aligns with Visby Medical's vision to revolutionize STI testing for men, following the success of their FDA-cleared test for women.

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The Global Impact of Antimicrobial Resistance

The threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is not confined to gonorrhea. The World Economic Forum in Davos highlighted the urgent need for more incentives to develop new antimicrobials. In 2019, drug-resistant bacterial infections resulted in more deaths than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

Projects like Visby Medical's hold immense potential in the fight against AMR. By providing accurate and rapid diagnostic results, they enable same-visit, data-driven treatment based on the pathogen and its antibiotic susceptibility. This approach could redefine best practices in patient care, infection control, and antibiotic stewardship.

As the world grapples with the growing menace of antibiotic resistance, initiatives such as Visby Medical's offer a glimmer of hope. With continued support and innovation, we may yet stem the tide of this global health crisis.

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