MeMed of Tirat Carmel, Israel, has won a contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), a branch of the US Department of Defense, totaling up to $9.2 million to fund the completion of MeMed’s pioneering point-of-care platform for distinguishing bacterial from viral infections.

DTRA’s mission is to safeguard the United States and its allies from global weapons of mass destruction and improvised threats by integrating, synchronizing and providing expertise, technologies and capabilities.

“DTRA’s recognition of our work further positions MeMed as a world leader in immune-based diagnostics of infectious diseases,” said Eran Eden, PhD, MeMed’s CEO.

“This joint effort, and our growing collaboration with other international stakeholders from industry and government, will facilitate the global availability of our tests aimed at combating antimicrobial resistance.”

Over the past eight years, Eden and cofounder Dr. Kfir Oved have collaborated with researchers and clinicians from around the globe to study the changes in the human immune system when it is fighting infections, in order to develop a human immune signature that accurately recognizes the difference between bacterial and viral infections.

ImmunoXpert, the first generation of this novel test, is already in clinical use in the European Union, Switzerland and Israel, and has been validated  in thousands of patients as an aid for physicians to make better informed antibiotic treatment decisions. A broader commercial roll-out is now underway.

The second generation of the test will be a point-of-care platform that is easy to use and takes only 15 minutes.

“In addition to allowing measurements of our bacterial versus viral test within minutes, the new platform also opens the way to a variety of rapid multiplex-protein measurements at the point of care with lab-quality precision, which has broad applications,” said Oved, MeMed’s CTO.

Tanya Gottlieb, PhD, MeMed’s VP Scientific Affairs, said the project also will “evaluate and expand MeMed’s test menu to detect early infections, even at the pre-symptomatic stage of a disease, which currently is a major challenge in infection control.”