Australia’s Atomo Diagnostics gets government fund to develop new blood tests to tackle tropical diseases

5 June 2016 (Last Updated June 5th, 2016 18:30)

Australia-based medical device company Atomo Diagnostics has secured funding from the Australian Government to develop and market new rapid blood tests to detect dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Australia-based medical device company Atomo Diagnostics has secured funding from the Australian Government to develop and market new rapid blood tests to detect dengue and chikungunya viruses.

The $1.38m fund is a part of the Australian Tropical Medicine Commercialisation (ATMC) programme and is supported by the Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF).

Atomo 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."

"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."

In the wake of a rapid spread of diseases like dengue and chikungunya, whose viruses are transmitted by mosquitos in the tropics and subtropics, the new rapid tests are essential to fill in the absence of vaccines to prevent infection.

The new tests will be based on the company's current AtomoRapid technology which binds two test strips into a single device allowing both antibodies and antigen levels to be detected at the same time from a single blood sample.

The all-in-one combo test is set to replace the existing test kits which require the use of many accessories and suffers from complexity, high-error rates and misdiagnosis.

Earlier this year, an $8.3m loan from GHIF was allocated to the company to accelerate the production capacity of tests that have a significant global health impact.