Ionian Technologies, Inc. (Ionian Technologies) has received additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant from the Foundation will extend the total commitment to this program, which was initiated in November 2008, to $3 million over two years.
The program will continue to focus on utilizing Ionian’s proprietary isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology, the NEAR Assay, to develop a platform for various global health diseases that will uniquely meet the needs of diagnostics for use in the developing world. The initial diseases that will be targeted are tuberculosis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. However, the platform will be easily adapted to other priority global health diseases in subsequent efforts.
The NEAR Assay can detect either DNA or RNA from bacterial or viral pathogens with a five-minute amplification coupled with a simple and rapid detection by fluorescence or lateral-flow test strips. The power of the NEAR amplification reaction matches the sensitivity and specificity performance of the best current nucleic acid technologies such as PCR, but in less time and with a much less complicated handheld device. Additionally, the NEAR Assay requires minimal or no sample preparation, further simplifying the equipment and consumable test requirements. These key attributes enable highly affordable and portable diagnostics for the most remote applications throughout the developing world.
Ionian Technologies is focused on commercializing its proprietary technology for the rapid detection of nucleic acids.