June 15, 2020
MBio Diagnostics today announced delivery to the U.S. Department of Defense with funding for this effort provided by the Defense Health Program through the Joint Program Executive Office as part of a development program for a rapid, quantitative point-of-care test for the inflammatory protein interleukin-6 (IL-6), one participant in the overactive immune response, or cytokine storm, that causes organ damage and fatality from COVID-19. The IL-6 test will be used by researchers from The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) in studies involving COVID-19 patients. Drugs that affect IL-6 binding to cell receptors have been shown to be an effective treatment option for some critically ill COVID-19 patients. The research will use the IL-6 test from MBio to classify patients based on their serum IL-6 levels, and use this information to potentially improve treatment efficacy and patient outcomes.
IL-6 plays an important role in inflammation and fever associated with infection. There is increasing medical evidence that in many severe COVID-19 patients, the immune system overreacts, creating what some call a cytokine storm that can cause systemic organ failure and death. The MBio IL-6 test may quickly help clinicians understand which patients are in gravest danger and may require different drugs or other therapeutic interventions.
Chris Myatt, Ph.D., chief executive officer at MBio commented, “We are pleased that our prior work in developing host-response diagnostic tests can now be applied in important clinical studies during the COVID-19 crisis. We will continue product development on our panels, with a goal of submitting data for in vitro diagnostic clearance by the FDA.”
“HJF is proud to be on the frontlines of the global response to COVID-19 by supporting research into a variety of methods to combat this pandemic,” said HJF President and CEO Joseph Caravalho. “Together with our military partners and MBio, HJF is looking forward to testing the effectiveness of the IL-6 test in predicting a propensity for critical illness resulting from COVID-19.”
About MBio Diagnostics
MBio Diagnostics provides rapid, on-the-spot testing solutions for our global commercial partners. Our portable LightDeck® platform delivers panels of lab- quality results in minutes for critical applications in health care, veterinary, and environmental industries.
About LightDeck® Technology
MBio’s patented LightDeck® technology system translates laboratory assays into on- the-spot, critical decisions in minutes. Our LightDeck® platform incorporates low- cost, multiplexed cartridges with our fluorescent readers and intuitive software, with the ability to measure more than 50 analytes in a single cartridge.
Our partners use LightDeck® technology to test key analytes across many applications for competitive advantages in the areas of quantitative sensitivity, multiplexing, and speed.
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) is a global nonprofit organization with the mission to advance military medicine. HJF’s scientific, administrative and program operations services empower investigators, clinicians, and medical researchers around the world to make discoveries in all areas of medicine. With more than 35 years of experience, HJF serves as a trusted and responsive link between the military medical community, federal and private partners, and the millions of warfighters, veterans, and civilians who benefit from military medicine. For more information, visit hjf.org.
About the JPEO-CBRND:
The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense is the Joint Service’s lead for development, acquisition, fielding and life-cycle support of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense equipment and medical countermeasures. As an effective acquisition program, the JPEO-CBRND puts capable and supportable systems in the hands of the service members and first responders, when and where it is needed, at an affordable price. Our vision is a resilient Joint Force, enabled to fight and win unencumbered by a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear environment, championed by innovative and state-of-the-art solutions. The Joint Project Lead CBRND Enabling Biotechnologies (JPL-CBRND-EB) is an organization established for the purpose of providing medical solutions, during a crisis, against future threats.
Disclaimer: Funding from the Defense Health Program / Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. government.