ReadCoor announced a multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to apply their proprietary spatial sequencing technology to understand causes of childhood mortality.
With this funding, ReadCoor will develop powerful methods using its FISSEQ platform – Fluorescent In situ Sequencing – to detect pathogens directly from their transcriptomes and genomes, which are ignored in traditional diagnostics. The research will take place at ReadCoor’s facilities in Cambridge, MA.
FISSEQ is a revolutionary sequencing platform that enables highly multiplexed analysis of RNA, DNA and other molecular features without removing cells from their tissue.
Including infectious diseases, FISSEQ has demonstrated utility in a diverse range of applications including brain mapping, gene therapy, immuno-therapy, oncology, neurodegenerative diseases, regenerative medicine and others.
“It is a great privilege to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in this important effort to reduce childhood mortality in developing countries,” said Shawn Marcell, CEO and co-founder of ReadCoor.
“We are committed to applying the FISSEQ platform for the benefit of humankind and we applaud the Gates Foundation for its vision and willingness to support innovative approaches to age-old problems.”
With this collaboration, the foundation will provide up to $2.5 million in funding over two years to develop FISSEQ-based diagnostics and analytical tools to investigate pathogens associated with early childhood diseases and epidemics.
These contagion detection tools will enable the global health community to deliver the right intervention to the right children and save lives.
Stopping epidemics in the developing world is challenging because children are constantly exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses that remain in their systems and mask the actual deadly pathogen.
Current molecular methods and pathological analyses laboriously and poorly distinguish the specific deadly pathogen from benign infections.
Because FISSEQ sequences tissue in situ it can identify each pathogen’s unique genetic sequence and location in the tissue. Each pathogen’s location is correlated with mortality markers, such as inflammation, to determine the deadly pathogen and the appropriate outbreak intervention.
The aim of this innovative epidemiological approach is to use FISSEQ’s comprehensive panomic view of interactions between cells and tissues to create a disease atlas that will aid contagion surveillance efforts and prepare for outbreaks.
ReadCoor is leading the next generation of “omics” by delivering the first panomic spatial sequencing platform to the global audience of researchers, clinicians, pharma and diagnostics companies, and ultimately patients.