The Geneva-based Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) reported that it has signed a $14.5 million grant with global nonprofit Unitaid, also of Geneva, to assess the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for diagnosing drug-resistant tuberculosis in low- and middle-income countries. The three-year project, dubbed Seq&Treat, will launch in October and be implemented across Brazil, China, Georgia, India and South Africa. The aim is to enable adoption of targeted NGS solutions for affordable, scalable and rapid TB drug susceptibility testing. Among the project's goals is to build clinical evidence to support the World Health Organization's guidance on the use of targeted NGS in drug-resistant TB diagnosis.
Oncimmune Holdings plc, a Nottingham, U.K., immunodiagnostics company, reported that it has forged an exclusive partnership with Moscow-based medicines company R-Pharm JSC to use Oncimmune's EarlyCDT Lung for detecting early stage lung cancer in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The agreement, which covers a period of five years, is expected to generate revenues of at least £5 million (US$6.3 million) and includes potential milestone payments of £2.75 million. R-Pharm will be responsible for local product registrations of EarlyCDT Lung in Russia in both lung cancer screening and nodule risk assessment. Under terms of the deal, R-Pharm may opt to further commercialize the product in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Georgia.