March 11, 2018
2 min read

CARB-X grants T2 Biosystems up to $2 million for antimicrobial resistance research

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Photo of John McDonough
John McDonough

The Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X, granted T2 Biosystems Inc. up to $2 million to develop new tests that can detect bacterial pathogens and resistance markers directly in whole blood, according to a press release.

Created to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, CARB-X is a public-private partnership between HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Wellcome Trust of London, the AMR Center of Alderley Park, Boston University School of Law and others.

“The CARB-X work will enable us to develop a panel that will focus on bacterial targets of 20 different species, including resistance genes, so that we can detect more bacterial infections and whether those infections may be resistant to the drug that you might give a patient,” John McDonough, president and CEO of T2 Biosystems, told Infectious Disease News.

Current diagnostic techniques primarily rely on blood cultures conducted in laboratories. These not only take days to produce a result but are not always reliable, delaying targeted antibiotic therapy, according to the company.

T2 Biosystems said it will build on their T2MR technology, as well as the FDA-cleared T2Dx Instrument, with the CARB-X funding. With these new tests, they hope to address what the CDC considers the most serious antibiotic resistance threats in the country, and they aim to identify 20 additional infectious species and resistance genes directly from whole blood, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae and MRSA. The company has set a goal to detect over 25 targets for bacterial species and resistance markers.

Although the rapid diagnosis and treatment of patients is the primary goal for T2 Biosystems and CARB-X, the development of these tests could also result in accelerated clinical trials for new antibiotics and a reduction in their time to market, according to the release.

“The real benefit of this is twofold,” McDonough told Infectious Disease News. “One is clinicians will be able to get more patients on the right targeted therapy within 6 to 8 hours, where today that can take days. Additionally, one of the major focuses of CARB-X is to reduce antimicrobial resistance, which is caused by patients being putting on drugs who don’t need them. So, by us identifying what drugs they need, it means resistance rates should drop because there will be fewer patients on unnecessary drugs.” - by Marley Ghizzone

Disclosure: McDonough is president and CEO of T2 Biosystems.