GOLETA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Cohen Foundation have selected Serimmune as a Phase 1 winner in the LymeX Diagnostics Prize, a LymeX Innovation Accelerator (LymeX) prize competition to accelerate the development of Lyme disease diagnostics. As a Phase 1 winner, Serimmune will receive $100,000 and an invitation to participate in a second phase.
Serimmune’s solution, Serum Epitope Repertoire Analysis (SERA), is designed to utilize bacterial display peptide library technology and next generation sequencing to broadly profile antibody repertoires and identify the antigens and epitopes associated with many diseases, including Lyme’s – all in a single assay.
The current two-tier serological testing system relies on the presence of antibodies and can only be used accurately four to six weeks after infection. The LymeX Diagnostics Prize’s open innovation model is accelerating discovery and development by offering no-strings-attached funding alongside exclusive access to key resources and collaboration opportunities—helping innovators take their solutions from concept to the healthcare market.
From May to August 2022, Phase 1 received 52 solutions for detecting active Lyme disease infections in people. Solutions incorporated techniques such as radiology imaging, genomics sequencing, and microfluidics; submissions also translated approaches used in diagnosing other infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Technical reviewers initially evaluated this highly competitive field, and then the competition judging panel assessed submissions according to official evaluation criteria.
At the discretion of HHS and the Cohen Foundation, and subject to availability of future funding, at least one additional phase may follow Phase 2. Future phases are expected to focus on clinical and nonclinical validation of diagnostic tests that detect active infection by Lyme-disease-causing bacteria, as well as readiness for regulatory submission and market entry. Thanks to a $10 million pledge to the LymeX Diagnostics Prize from the Cohen Foundation, $9 million in additional LymeX prizes are projected to be available in proposed future phases.
Serimmune is a leader in understanding antibody repertoire and is focused on identifying and exploiting the universe of relationships between antibodies and antigens. The company’s Serum Epitope Repertoire Analysis (SERA) technology platform applies bacterial display peptide libraries, next generation sequencing, machine learning and custom bioinformatics to reveal the many diverse antigens stimulating immunity. Serimmune’s human immunity map is a growing database that can be interrogated to uncover disease information for the development of multiplex diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics. The company was founded in 2014 and is backed by investors such as Illumina Ventures, LabCorp, and Merck. For more information visit www.serimmune.com.