Biomarker discovery company ProteinLogic and Stellenbosch University have received a $1.35m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for expediting the development of ImmiPrint Technology for TB.

The technology is intended for monitoring treatment responses to TB antimicrobial chemotherapy.

The grant will enable the partners to explore the potential of ImmiPrint Technology in tracking the effectiveness of TB treatments.

ProteinLogic’s technology utilises a diagnostic pattern of soluble immune proteins in blood and other body fluids, defined using machine learning. It is designed for use in both resource-rich and emerging economy clinical settings.

It offers a sensitive and minimally invasive approach to disease detection and monitoring.

The technology can measure immune system proteins in body fluids, identifying disease-specific proteomic fingerprints. It was developed by ProteinLogic scientific co-founders Dr César Milstein and Dr Adrian Woolfson.

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ProteinLogic chairman Peter Klimt said: “ProteinLogic’s ImmiPrint technology provides the basis of a universal protein-based search engine for the rapid, efficient, and cost-effective discovery of diagnostic biomarker signatures that address multiple disease categories.

“The non-dilutive funding received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will allow the company to continue to explore the use of ImmiPrint technology in the TB therapeutic area.”

The collaboration with Stellenbosch University, a leader in TB research, will investigate whether ImmiPrint can monitor clinical responses to TB antimicrobial therapy.

The project is managed by specialised science consultancy PTNG Consulting.

Stellenbosch University, South Africa Diagnostic Biomarker Research Laboratory head professor Novel Chegou said: “We are very grateful and excited to be using the funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work together with ProteinLogic to determine the suitability of their biomarker signature and our own biomarkers for TB treatment monitoring.

“Our laboratory, as it is situated in a high-burden African country and works closely with other laboratories across Africa is uniquely positioned to answer this question.”