FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, announced on December 20, 2021 a US$21 million investment to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and launch of affordable, multi-pathogen, molecular diagnostic platforms for use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Biomeme, Inc. is one of four companies to receive a portion of the US$21 million investment. These investments are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through FkW and other donors.
The request for proposals (RFP) was launched in August 2021, in the context of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator diagnostics pillar, which FIND co-leads. The diagnostics goals of the ACT-Accelerator Strategy and Budget, refreshed in October 2021, are to:
- advance COVID-19 testing rates to a minimum of 100 tests per 100,000 people per day;
- track the evolving epidemiology of the virus, including new variants; and
- optimize the use of tests to control the pandemic.
This RFP aimed to support the ACT-Accelerator strategy by identifying platforms that will increase access to testing: the development and market entrance of accurate, affordable, multi-pathogen, point-of-care molecular tests that differentiate between COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogens.
47 companies responded to the RFP. Following a shortlist review of 13 companies, where FIND studied the technical performance of the platform, their added value to the diagnostics market, suitability for use in decentralized settings, and affordability for LMICs. Finally, after a due diligence process, FIND selected four companies to further invest including Biomeme, Inc., Bioneer, Qlife, and SD Biosensor.
Biomeme’s mission and vision of the past 10 years to develop a product line that allows anyone to perform PCR from anywhere in the world perfectly aligned with FIND and ACTs mission starting with the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows us to address the need for low-cost and decentralized testing in LMICs not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also develop our tests further to identify and detect pathogens before community outbreak.
Max Perelman, Biomeme Co-Founder, said: “Over the last decade, Biomeme has developed a vertically integrated company that includes assay design, software and hardware R&D, reagent lyophilization, consumables and equipment manufacturing, as well as distributed lab testing services. Our newest decentralized molecular testing platform is designed with the vision to deliver point-of-care diagnostic testing to anyone, anywhere. The support of FIND and the ACT-Accelerator will help us realize that vision. While our immediate goals focus on SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viral pathogens, Biomeme aspires to deliver a diverse array of pathogen detection tests and host immune response tests to the world that will answer pressing clinical problems focused on viral infections, tuberculosis, mosquito- and tick-borne infections, and strategies to distinguish bacterial from viral infection.”
Read the full press release here.