CARB-X awards $3.2m to Longitude Prize contender, Module Innovations

06 Jun 2020

CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) has today awarded a $3.2m grant to Longitude Prize contender Module Innovations for its ASTSENSe diagnostic.

As one of the world’s largest public-private partnerships addressing the threat of antibiotic resistance, CARB-X’s investment is a truly welcome boost in the ongoing fight against the rise of “superbugs.” This is one of a select group of diagnostic tests that CARB-X has funded, traditionally promoting the development of much needed new antibiotics.

We’re encouraged by this news for many reasons. For one, with this decision CARB-X recognises, as we do at the Longitude Prize, that essential new classes of antibiotics must be developed in tandem with rapid, accurate diagnostics if we are to empower clinicians and frontline health workers to prescribe the right drugs first time. As one part of a wider puzzle, diagnostics can help us to slow the evolution of more drug resistant infections.

Secondly, it’s increasingly clear that diagnostic innovators need investment, expert support and access to sustainable financing so that they can progress. Product development in the field of medical innovation can take time. Interestingly, a CARB-X paper released just a few months ago shows that it received a large number of applications in response to the diagnostics funding call it issued in 2019, exemplifying not only the significant level of activity taking place in test development but also that this community of innovators and test developers is a source of real breakthrough potential.

Ultimately, the $3.2m announced by CARB-X today, and the £8m Longitude Prize are necessary investments in the fight to tackle AMR, funding the innovations that not only help us prescribe antibiotics in the right way and at the right time but also improve patient care and experience.

Based in India, Module Innovations is developing USenseTM for bacteria identification and ASTSenseTM for determination of antibiotic susceptibility (AST). It is competing in the Longitude Prize with USENSe. The company is a recipient of a Discovery Award (2017) and Boost Grant (2019), awarded by the Longitude Prize, enabled by funding from partner BIRAC, to financially support competitors in their work.