Pacific Northwest Consortium Wins $15 Million Gates Foundation Grant To Develop Pocket-size Diagnost

Seattle, WA – A Pacific Northwest consortium led by the University of Washington has received $15.4 million to develop a portable device that promises to bring the technological power of a modern medical diagnostics center to the remote regions of the world.

The announcement was made today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as one of 43 groundbreaking research projects to improve health in developing countries, supported by $436 million from the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative. The Gates Foundation news release is attached.

Partners in the diagnostic consortium effort are:

The University of Washington. Professor Paul Yager, vice chair in the Department of Bioengineering, is lead investigator on the project. The team will draw on more than a decade of research in microfluidics and surface chemistries by Yager and colleague Patrick Stayton.

Micronics Inc., a leading provider of laboratory-on-a-card (“lab card”) design, development and production services, will design and develop the disposable lab cards, integrating Nanogen’s chemistries as well as novel materials and assays being developed by the UW collaborators. Additionally, Micronics will lead the integration effort of the card with a portable device.

Nanogen’s advanced diagnostics provide researchers and doctors worldwide with methods and tests that can predict, diagnose and help treat disease. Nanogen will contribute proprietary chemistry and assay development for the lab cards.

PATH is an international nonprofit organization that strives to help communities break cycles of poor health using culturally relevant technologies and solutions. PATH will coordinate the acquisition of clinical samples to validate the diagnostic device in the laboratory.

The Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative is a major international effort to achieve scientific breakthroughs against diseases that kill millions of people each year in the world’s poorest countries. It is funded with a $450 million commitment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $27.1 from the Wellcome Trust, and $4.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.