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Longitude Prize awards grants for antibiotic test development

Five UK teams among the winners seeking to tackle antimicrobial resistance

Longitude PrizeTwelve teams from the UK, India and the US have won a share of almost £200,000 for the development of diagnostic tests to help people determine whether they need antibiotics before visiting a healthcare professional.

Selected from over 70 entrants, the Longitude Discovery Award granted the most promising teams up to £25,000 in seed funding to advance their ideas, with the finished projects to then be submitted for the overall Longitude Prize.

Daniel Berman, Longitude Prize lead at UK innovation foundation Nesta, said: “The groups receiving these grants are working across a range of technologies, from nanosensors to gene detectors to lasers, but they are all working towards one goal - the development of a tool which will radically transform the way people access antibiotics and help to fight the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.”

Launched by David Cameron at the G8 Summit in 2013, the Longitude Prize is dedicated to tackling global antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and offers a £10m prize fund for the organisation that develops the best point-of-care diagnostic test for bacterial infections.

The Longitude committee, along with partner Innovate UK, hopes the fund will help halt the growth of bacterial resistance worldwide through a quick, affordable and accessible home-test to prevent the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics.

Among the winning Discovery Awards teams set to enter this grand prize challenge are five teams from across the UK, including GFC Diagnostics, Orbital Diagnostics and Iceni Diagnostics.

A spin-out from the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia, Iceni won a Discovery Award share for its sugar device proposition designed to detect and discriminate microbial and viral pathogens.

Meanwhile, Orbital will now develop its posited infection and pathogen diagnosis treatment using lasers and integrated electronics.

The first assessment deadline for the participating teams is on 31 January 2017, with follow-up testing due every four months from then.

However, while the final submission deadline for the Longitude Prize is 30 September 2019, any team to successfully meet the criteria prior to this point will be awarded the grand prize.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

7th December 2016

From: Research

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