Atomo Diagnostics has today received a US$6 million [A$8.5 million] loan from a the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF) to support the scale-up of production operations and expansion of commercial activities related to the AtomoRapid™ rapid diagnostic test (RDT) platform. Funds will also be used to commercialize a self-test solution for HIV and other infectious diseases.
Structured by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with founding support from Grand Challenges Canada, KfW and SIDA, GHIF focuses its investments in companies addressing key global health challenges. Curt LaBelle, MD, Fund Manager of GHIF said, “We are committed to financing initiatives and technologies that can significantly benefit global health and we are thrilled to support Atomo. We believe that the company’s unique and innovative rapid test solutions support point-of-care testing across a variety of settings and have many exciting applications in both developing world and developed markets.”
As part of the collaborative funding agreement, GHIF and Atomo have made global access commitments to support and facilitate the launch and commercialization of Atomo’s professional use and self-test products in low and middle-income countries to ensure that they achieve the greatest possible global impact.
John Kelly, CEO of Atomo, said “Our mission has always been to provide the market with products that meet the needs of users. We set out to develop a solution to obsolete the current generation ‘bits in a box’ test kit format, responsible for hundreds of thousands of errors and incorrect diagnoses globally each year. The investment from GHIF not only enables us to scale up our global health activities, it is also a clear endorsement of our innovative AtomoRapid™ technology as a preferred solution for rapid diagnostic testing.”
Dr. Linda-Gail Bekker, Executive Director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and President of the International AIDS Society said, “Young South Africans surveyed at the Foundation’s mobile and youth clinics preferred self-testing with the Atomo product over traditional HIV test kits. We urgently need innovation that will facilitate the UNAIDS ambitious goal of 90% of all HIV positive people knowing their status by 2020. GHIF’s investment in Atomo has laid a foundation towards that 90% goal through HIV self-testing.”