FIND and BD develop point-of-care test for fever patients

  • New collaboration aims to reduce antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries

Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA & Geneva, Switzerland – 29 May 2017 – FIND and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, today announced a collaboration agreement to develop a point-of-care biomarker test to distinguish bacterial infections from other causes of fever.

This is the first joint initiative undertaken by FIND and BD to meet the pressing need for a triage test to guide the appropriate use of antibiotics, which is a critical need in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The initial period of engagement will be 12 months and will focus on prototype test development on the BD Veritor™ point-of-care diagnostic platform.

This project represents an opportunity to create a paradigm shift in the management of fever in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which is key to curbing the spread of AMR. Fever due to viral, parasitic or bacterial infection is one of the most common symptoms of patients seeking care in low-resource settings. Research has shown that these patients are often prescribed antibiotics, which are not appropriate for non-severe viral infections.[1] This is largely because clinicians do not have simple, affordable tests that can rapidly identify whether the cause of the fever is bacterial. In turn, this overuse of antibiotics drives the rise of drug resistance.

“Antimicrobial resistance threatens to undo the gains the world has made towards achieving the sustainable development goals,” said Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND. “We believe an easy-to-use triage test for fever could catalyse a change from empiric to evidence-based prescribing practices that would help contain the global spread of drug-resistant bacteria.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for more innovation and investment in diagnostics research and development. This project represents a response, guided by test specifications that were outlined by a cross-section of experts from WHO, MSF, ReAct and FIND in a target product profile for priority fever tests in LMICs published in 2016.[2]

“Working in collaboration with our partners, BD is dedicated to developing an accessible bacterial versus viral testing platform, using the BD VeritorTM point-of-care system, with tests that will detect immune biomarkers from blood using a simple and easy workflow,”  said Dave Hickey, president of Diagnostic Systems for BD.  “We hope to achieve an end result that provides an easy-to-use, yet effective diagnostic tool that can be easily adopted in low- and middle-income countries.”

Renuka Gadde, vice president of Global Health for BD added, “BD Global Health has prioritized establishing collaborative partnerships to innovate in infectious disease diagnostics, with a focus on products that improve the speed and accuracy of testing and bring decision-making closer to the point-of-care. BD and FIND share the common goal of addressing the most pressing AMR needs, and this collaboration represents our most exciting effort yet to contribute to fever management and good stewardship of antibiotics.”

BD intends to provide this test on its existing BD VeritorTM point-of-care system. BD will work to develop an assay that will detect immunological biomarkers from blood via a very simple and easy testing workflow. The combination of several host biomarkers has proven to increase the sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of bacterial infections. In parallel, BD will also work on the adaptation of the platform to allow the use of finger-stick whole blood, a criterion identified in the TPP as important to enable use in low-resource settings. The pursuit of multiple project streams is a response to the urgency of this project and potential technical hurdles and is intended to increase the likelihood of quickly advancing through biomarker evaluation and simplification of the workflow.

About BD 
BD is a global medical technology company that is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. BD leads in patient and health care worker safety and the technologies that enable medical research and clinical laboratories. The company provides innovative solutions that help advance medical research and genomics, enhance the diagnosis of infectious disease and cancer, improve medication management, promote infection prevention, equip surgical and interventional procedures, and support the management of diabetes. The company partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. BD has more than 40,000 associates across 50 countries who work in close collaboration with customers and partners to help enhance outcomes, lower health care delivery costs, increase efficiencies, improve health care safety and expand access to health. For more information on BD, please visit http://www.bd.com/.

About FIND
FIND was established in 2003 as a global non-profit dedicated to accelerating the development, evaluation and delivery of high-quality, affordable diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and Buruli ulcer, and for fighting antimicrobial resistance and supporting outbreak preparedness. Over the last decade, FIND has partnered in the delivery of 20 new diagnostic tools and created an enabling environment for numerous others through the provision of specimen banks, reagent development and better market visibility. FIND also supports better access to new diagnostics through price negotiations, implementation, quality assurance and lab strengthening work. FIND has over 100 partners globally, including research institutes and laboratories, health ministries and national disease control programmes, commercial partners, bilateral and multilateral organizations, especially WHO, and clinical trial sites.

Media contact
Troy Kirkpatrick, BD Public Relations
Email: troy.kirkpatrick@bd.com
Tel. +1 858-617-2361
Julie Archer, Senior Communications Officer, FIND
Email: julie.archer@finddx.org
Tel. +41 79 830 63 64

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References

[1] Dittrich S, Tadesse BT, Moussy F, Chua A, Zorzet A, Tängdén T et al (2016). Target Product Profile for a Diagnostic Assay to Differentiate between Bacterial and Non-Bacterial Infections and Reduce Antimicrobial Overuse in Resource-Limited Settings: An Expert ConsensusPLoS ONE 11(8):e0161721. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161721
[2] Ibid.