November 01, 2016


 $20 million contest for diagnostic tests

Posted Oct. 12, 2016

A federal competition is awarding $20 million for development of diagnostic tests that could help combat the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.

The Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge is awarding the money for new, innovative, and novel laboratory diagnostic tests able to identify and characterize antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, distinguish between viral and bacterial infections, or both. Two entities within the Department of Health and Human Services are sponsoring the competition: the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

“The goal of the challenge is to identify a diagnostic test that, when utilized, would lead to more rapid clinical decision making such that antibiotic use and/or outcomes of patients infected with resistant pathogens are fundamentally improved compared to current standard of care, and/or reduce transmission of resistant pathogens such that population infection rates significantly decrease,” challenge information states.

Submissions are due by Jan. 9, 2017, for the first phase of competition, through which 20 semifinalists will receive up to $50,000 each to develop prototypes and analytic data. Semifinalists will be selected by March 27.

Submissions for the second phase, through which 10 finalists will receive up to $100,000 each to develop prototypes and send them to independent laboratories for testing, will be due in September 2018. The next round of finalists will be selected in December 2018.

Up to three winners will share at least $18 million to further develop and produce prototypes. Those submissions will be due in January 2020, and winners will be selected in July 2020.

More information is available from the challenge website, and from the NIH.