Swiss Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation funds Ebola diagnostics work by FIND

Geneva, Switzerland — 24 June 2015 — FIND has been awarded a grant of CHF 1.56 million by the Swiss Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for its work to establish a clinical trial platform for the assessment of new Ebola diagnostic tests. This includes evaluating the tests in reference laboratories using fresh and frozen Ebola specimens, and in settings of intended use, such as central laboratories and decentralized facilities such as health centres, obstetric units and surgical wards.

FIND’s work in evaluating new Ebola tests supports the efforts of the Mobile Filovirus Nucleic Acid Test (MOFÍNA) consortium. MOFÍNA is led by Public Health England and co-funded by the European Commission’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI2) to develop and validate a molecular point-of-care diagnostic system that can be used for the safe, sensitive and specific detection of the Ebola virus. Alere Inc. is the lead developer of the test and has largely funded their own work on the project.

FIND is evaluating the new test, which runs on Alere q, a transformational diagnostic platform that can be used at the point of care for early Ebola detection. Early diagnosis of Ebola means that Ebola patients can receive supportive care sooner and be isolated quickly to prevent ongoing transmission. The evaluation uses the altona RealStar Filovirus Screen RT-PCR Kit 1.0 as the reference test.

In addition to Public Health England and Alere Inc., MOFÍNA consortium partners include altona Diagnostics GmbH, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine and Aiuta l’Istituto Nazionale delle Malattie Infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani IRCCD.

FIND is grateful to SERI for its support, which enables FIND’s participation in this consortium validated by IMI2. These funds complement Ebola-targeted funding received by FIND from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through KfW, the Swiss Development Cooperation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Under the auspices of the World Health Organization, FIND acts as the secretariat of the Ebola Diagnostics Access Collaboration (EDAC), which represents a wide range of partners. The goal of the Collaboration is to compress the normal time frame of development, evaluation and implementation of new Ebola diagnostics from years into months, and to deliver the right tools to the right places to support Ebola control through early detection and transmission interruption.

This work is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 15.0155. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Swiss Government.

About FIND
Founded in 2003, FIND is an international non-profit organization that enables the development and delivery of diagnostic tests for diseases of poverty, including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, sleeping sickness, hepatitis C, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and Buruli ulcer. Over the last decade, FIND has partnered in the delivery of 11 new diagnostic tools and created an enabling environment for countless more through specimen banks, reagent development and better market visibility. FIND has also supported the scale-up of diagnostics through implementation, quality assurance and lab strengthening work. FIND has over 100 partners, including research institutes and laboratories, health ministries, commercial partners, bilateral and multilateral organizations (especially WHO), and clinical trial sites.

For more information, please contact:
Julie Archer, Senior Communications Officer, FIND 
Desk +41 22 749 29 33 
Mobile +41 79 830 63 64