Molecular testing for tuberculosis (TB) could one day take only a few minutes, according to scientists behind a new €3.8 million project.
Molecular technology company GNA Biosolutions GmbH and its project partners announced the launch of PITBUL, a European Commission funded international research project aimed at developing a tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic platform to be utilized at the Point of Care.
The PITBUL project includes international partners from academic institutions, hospitals, research institutes and companies, which will collaborate to develop an ultrafast test that can detect TB infection in minutes rather than hours, as with current molecular TB tests. Project partners include the Dodoma Regional Referral Hospital in Tanzania, the National Institute for Infectious diseases “L. Spallanzani” (based in Rome, Italy), the University of Latvia and the Riga East University Hospital, Fraunhofer IMM (Mainz, Germany), TATAA Biocenter, and MultiD Analyses AB (both in Göteborg, Sweden). GNA Biosolutions is serving as the project coordinator.
Traditional DNA tests for TB can take up to several hours to deliver a diagnosis. The PITBUL ultrafast TB test will be based on Pulse Controlled Amplification (PCA), a novel platform technology developed by GNA Biosolutions. The PITBUL ultrafast TB test aims to make DNA-based diagnosis of TB possible in just a few minutes. “Tuberculosis is a global public health threat, particularly with multi-drug resistant TB strains on the rise,” said GNA Biosolutions Managing Director Lars Ullerich. “We are excited to have a world -renowned team assembled so that together we can take on the challenge of making an extremely fast, cost-effective and easy-to-use TB test a reality.”
The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, the EU’s largest Research and Innovation program, has awarded PITBUL 3.8 million Euros for the duration of the project, which is expected to conclude in 2020. To commemorate this year’s World TB Day, the PITBUL team today launched a website which will provide additional details and news about this publicly funded research project.