PRESS RELEASE: Innovative new rapid blood test to tackle tropical diseases

SYDNEY Australia, 30 May 2016 | Award-winning designer and manufacturer of diagnostic medical devices, Atomo Diagnostics today announced that it has been successful in securing $1.38 million in grant funding from the Australian Government to assist in the development and commercialisation of new rapid tests for the detection of dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Half the world’s population live in areas at risk of infection from these two viruses, which are leading causes of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. Readily transmitted by mosquitoes, there are no vaccines to prevent infection so early detection and treatment is critical to limit the risk of complications and death.

Atomo’s Group CEO John Kelly said, “We are extremely grateful to the Australian government for its commitment to global health innovation and continued support of our company. This funding will help us deliver a much needed, easy-to-use solution for the rapid diagnosis of diseases which impact hundreds of millions of people.”

Atomo’s all-in-one integrated rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are recognised internationally for their excellent usability and performance. The company’s first product to market, AtomoRapid HIV, was awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the prestigious Medical Design Excellence Awards in New York in 2014.

This latest funding with support from the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF) represents another important milestone for this fast-growing company headquartered in Sydney, Australia. This comes on the back of an $8.3 million loan earlier this year from GHIF to support scale-up of the company’s production capacity of tests that have significant global health impact.

Adapting its current AtomoRapid technology to integrate two test strips into a single device will allow both antibodies and antigen levels to be detected at the same time from a single blood sample. This novel all-in-one combo test will obsolete current generation test kits which currently require the use of many accessories, and have challenges with complexity, high error rates and misdiagnosis.

Atomo will work with a number of Queensland based academic partners to commercialise these new tests and ensure that Australian research and innovation remains at the forefront of global health solutions.

Media Contact:
Tim Allerton or Andrew Geddes
Tel: +61 (2) 9267 4511

Curt LaBelle
The Global Health Investment Fund