Company to continue developing its sample prep cartridge for detecting C. Diff
KGI Spin-off Claremont BioSolutions Awarded $3 Million NIAID Grant
Claremont BioSolutions (ClaremontBio), a KGI spin-off enterprise, was recently awarded a $3 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) to continue developing its fully integrated, point-of-care assay system for detecting Clostridium difficile infections and contamination. KGI’s director of research and Arnold and Mabel Beckman professor, Angelika Niemz, collaborated on the grant, along with David Boyle at the Seattle-based international nonprofit organization PATH and Ciaran Kelly at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
“The NIH award will allow us to develop a small bench-top device to detect Clostridium difficile both in patients and from potentially contaminated surfaces in healthcare facilities. C. difficile is now the most common hospital-acquired infection and has become a major cost factor in hospitals and nursing homes,” said Bruce Irvine, ClaremontBio's chief technology officer, adding that the instrument will also help facilities reduce costs by using it to monitor and then react immediately to any contamination problems.
For the past several years, Claremont Bio and Niemz have been working to develop and commercialize molecular testing technologies, including the C. difficile assay and tests for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and herpes simplex virus. In 2009, ClaremontBio was awarded a two-year, $600,000 Phase I SBIR grant from NIAID to develop its integrated molecular testing device that uses patient stool samples to diagnose and, as result, to curtail C. diff-related infections acquired in hospital. In 2011, a ClaremontBio-sponsored Team Master's Project also focused on the company’s PureLyse(tm) device for diagnosing hospital-acquired C. diff. The team aimed to advance the product to the stage where it could be compared head-to-head with the market leader.
In the later stages of the project ClaremontBio plans to work with the Ciaran Kelly’s GI infectious disease lab at Beth Israel Deaconess as well as Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center to conduct a beta feasibility test on the integrated device.
Founded in 2006 by Jim Sterling, KGI’'s VP of academic affairs and dean of faculty, and former faculty members Robert Doebler and Ali Nadim, ClaremontBio is an emerging growth diagnostics company with a mission to simplify DNA testing. Specifically, it develops unique solutions to the “bottleneck” of sample preparation that is an essential first step to any DNA or RNA diagnostic test.