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Lumora to partner with FIND to develop new, high-throughput Malaria molecular diagnostic test for use in the developing world

22 April 2013

Lumora to partner with FIND to develop new, high-throughput Malaria molecular diagnostic test for use in the developing world

Lumora, a provider of state-of-the-art molecular diagnostic products for the clinical and industrial market, has partnered with The Foundation for Innovative  New Diagnostics (FIND) to develop a rapid, high-throughput malaria diagnostic assay for screening patients in the developing world.

The partnership will allow FIND to access Lumora’s technologies such as BART (Bioluminescent Assay in Real Time) and the company’s expertise to develop a novel test that will allow rapid screening on a large scale.

Strategies for the elimination of malaria are held back by lack of screening technologies for use in the field that can detect hidden or low parasitemia malaria infections, and thus stamp out the final cases. Such screening would also then help to keep these populations malaria free. The first field test with sufficient sensitivity to detect as few as one malaria parasite in a finger-prick blood sample has recently been developed and released by FIND and Eiken Chemical (Japan). The partnership with Lumora, funded by the BMBF of Germany, will enable the malaria LAMP test to be scaled into a high-throughput screening test specifically designed for malaria elimination programmes.

Laurence Tisi, CEO of Lumora, said: “This partnership illustrates that by combining the versatility and strength of Lumora’s technologies, with the expertise of the team, we can develop a diagnostic which can be deployed in both a traditional and non traditional clinical setting . We are extremely pleased that FIND have recognised that Lumora’s approach of simplifying molecular diagnostics, through the application of its proprietary technologies such as BART, will bring significant benefit not only to the clinical market but more importantly to those who work in malaria control and elimination.”

“This partnership opens the way to fill one of the major gaps in the malaria elimination agenda”, said David Bell, head of the malaria and acute fever programme at FIND. “LAMP technology has already proven to be the most robust field technology for high-sensitivity diagnosis, currently entering programmes for elimination of both malaria and sleeping sickness and under development for a number of other diseases. Adding this high-throughput platform opens the way for a range of new diagnostic screening applications that could prove pivotal in managing several diseases of both human and animal health.”

Hayden Jeffreys, Commercial Director at Lumora, added: “We see the partnership with FIND as an important stepping stone to providing a greater menu of products utilising our technology in clinical setting s to complement our HIV portfolio, which includes Lumora’s viral load test. We look forward to extending this partnership in order to commercialise this product and the many others in our pipeline.”