UK-based Oxford Nanopore Technologies has teamed up with French in-vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux to provide advanced infectious disease diagnostics.

Under the partnership, the two companies will jointly explore select ways to advance patient care by offering nanopore-based clinical research and in vitro diagnostic (IVD) solutions.

The collaboration will initially focus on developing a test for determining antibiotic resistance of tuberculosis and an assay to identify pathogens in normally sterile clinical samples.

It will also validate Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing platform with bioMérieux EpiSeq CS application for monitoring a rapid infection outbreak.

BioMérieux chairman and CEO Alexandre Mérieux said: “We are excited to enter into a research partnership with Oxford Nanopore in the field of infectious diseases.

“New technologies such as sequencing hold promise to improve diagnostics and patient care; our teams will collaborate in this direction.”

Oxford Nanopore Technologies is engaged in developing and commercialising a new generation of nanopore sequencing-based molecular sensing technology.

Nanopore-based sequencing is a novel technology that facilitates the analysis of long DNA or RNA fragments without needing PCR amplification or chemical labelling of the sample.

It works by monitoring changes in nucleic acids when an electrical current is induced, and decoding the resulting signal when nucleic acids cross the protein nanopore.

With unique real-time, scalable features, the technology is said to enable the rapid and cost-effective characterisation of pathogens in clinical samples.

Furthermore, nanopore-based sequencing will provide complete results for infectious diseases research and diagnostic applications in reduced time, said the UK-based firm.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies chief executive officer Gordon Sanghera said: “We are pleased to partner with bioMérieux’s IVD expertise to add powerful new tools for the fight against infectious disease.

“By offering rapid and accurate identification of pathogens and associated antimicrobial resistance, at scale, we hope to better equip the specialists for whom speed and access to comprehensive data is key.”

Last week, bioMérieux secured the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for its multiplex PCR-based assay, BIOFIRE SPOTFIRE Respiratory (R) Panel Mini.