New grant to FIND from the German Government

Geneva, Switzerland – 5 March 2012 – The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) recently decided to grant EUR 7.5 million to FIND. The grant will support the ongoing development of a novel platform molecular technology to diagnose a variety of diseases, including malaria, sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.

This new funding is part of a EUR 20 million disbursement, announced last December by the German BMBF, to three product development partnerships (PDPs) through 2015 to develop innovative tools and treatments for neglected tropical diseases.

The new grant will allow FIND to continue development of the LAMP (loop-mediated amplification) tests, which are based on a simple yet highly sensitive DNA amplification method that can be used to diagnose numerous diseases. LAMP is a molecular diagnostic platform that detects pathogen DNA from patient samples with very high specificity and sensitivity at constant temperatures. In addition, results can be detected by the naked eye, rather than with the complicated detection equipment required for more conventional methods. The technology has been designed to be robust enough to be used in rural African settings where tropical diseases are most prevalent.

“Thanks to this important commitment from the German government, FIND and its partners will be in a position to continue supporting projects and activities aimed at the eventual elimination of a number of tropical diseases,” said Philippe Jacon, Chief Executive Officer, FIND. “By using this grant to accelerate the development of a multi-disease diagnostic platform, FIND is committed to rapidly and cost-effectively bringing to the field tools that can have a tangible impact on the lives of those affected by these diseases.”

Over the last five years, FIND has rolled out five novel assays, three for the rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis and two platform tools for the diagnosis of various diseases, including TB, sleeping sickness and malaria. Along with its aim to bring simple, effective and affordable tests to the point of treatment, FIND is also committed to building on past investments by taking advantage of existing technologies to develop multi-disease platforms that can be used by health workers to detect several diseases with a single instrument.

Dr. Helge Braun, Parliamentary State Secretary at the BMBF, remarked “We are committed to sustaining research and development in the field of infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases that affect a large number of people worldwide. The BMBF wants to address these global challenges by supporting collaborations between industry, science, product development partnerships like FIND, and national health programmes.”

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About FIND

The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics is dedicated to developing affordable, easy-to-use and cutting edge diagnostic tests that save lives in the poorest areas of the world. From proof of principle to putting new tests into practice, the organization works with multiple and diverse groups, from academia, industry, donors, partners in the field, Ministries of Health and the World Health Organization. With five new diagnostic tools for TB already in use, FIND also has established programmes in malaria and sleeping sickness, and has begun working on other neglected diseases, such as leishmaniasis. Launched in 2003, the not-for-profit Foundation is ISO certified and financed by both the private and public sectors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Government of the Netherlands, the European Union, UNITAID, UK Department for International Development, National Institutes of Health (USA), UBS Optimus Foundation and others.