GeneCapture technology directed at rapid treatment of wound infections

December 16, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – GeneCapture and subcontractor Canvas Inc. were recently awarded a $250,000 Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) for feasibility testing of GeneCapture’s rapid portable Infection Diagnostic (ID) and Antibiotic Susceptibility Test (AST). DHA is seeking ways to quickly diagnose and accurately treat wound infections in civilians and in injured Warfighters. GeneCapture’s ID and AST platform will enable medical providers of all skill levels to treat infections with the appropriate antibiotics at the Point of Care.

The rapid treatment of an infection with the right drug is critical to the fight against global antimicrobial resistance (AMR.)  The pathogens of interest to the DHA are the ESKAPE pathogens – Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcus aureusKlebsiella pneumoniaAcinetobacter baumanniiPseudomonas aeruginosaEnterobacter spp., and Escherichia coli. Multidrug resistant ESKAPE pathogens contribute to AMR world-wide and pose a critical threat to the Warfighter.      

GeneCapture and Canvas microbiologists prepare experiments to demonstrate rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility for pathogens of interest to Defense Health Agency.

“Wound infections can be fatal. DHA is seeking to address this problem with novel solutions that combine identifying the pathogen and determining which antibiotic works best, both right at the Point of Care.  Antimicrobial resistance is a serious, global problem, and GeneCapture is pleased to have been selected to demonstrate our lab-free approach for this Phase I study,” states GeneCapture Chief Scientist Paula Millirons.

Subcontractor Canvas Inc. brings software development, AI/machine learning, image processing and microbiology expertise to support GeneCapture in developing pathogen fingerprints from the CAPTURE assay data. Canvas and GeneCapture have collaborated on previous biotech projects to bring infection detection solutions to the Point of Care.

GeneCapture has developed the CAPTURE assay (Confirm Active Pathogens Through Unamplified RNA Expression), which uses a novel non-PCR protocol to quickly identify a pathogen’s RNA from a custom library of probes on a microarray. Now GeneCapture’s platform will also include a breakthrough AST assay providing rapid on-site testing of various antibiotics once the single or mixed pathogens have been identified. Both assays are designed to operate in remote environments without refrigeration or a lab infrastructure.