by TIRF Labs
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Global security experts concur that naturally occurring and synthetic pathogens represent one of the major risk to mankind [2, 3]. The current pandemic demonstrated that efficient mitigation for this risk requires a global infrastructure, which would prevent the emergence and localize the outbreaks of new and existing infections.
In turn, the envisioned infrastructure requires rapid and accurate diagnostics. Our mission is to create such diagnostics available to everyone. The technological capabilities already exist. TIRF Labs’s team of scientists and engineers has developed such platform technology, called i-Diagnostics. It is well-suited for the infrastructure and will naturally consolidate the efforts of numerous actors worldwide to perform preventive and reactive counter measures.
These efforts will be efficient, if i-Diagnostics becomes an Open Source platform and the development tools begin to be affordable to thousands of research groups. Currently, the i-Diagnostics application development tools are costly. Therefore, we inquire The Giving Pledge members and other philanthropists to donate to this project to accelerate the process of making i-Diagnostics a genuine Open Source platform and, thus, improve the situation with global biological safety.
Our mission is to make the platform available to numerous independent experts who can develop their applications. We will assist in creating the envisioned infrastructure based on the intelligence of global network of scientists, medical doctors, and users.
We are delighted to invite you to become a part of this global effort, which can revolutionize the current state of medicine, improve the quality and reduce the cost of healthcare by billions of dollars. Let’s change the future of healthcare together to be always a step ahead of any disease.
Our goal is to transform i-Diagnostics into the Open Source platform. The downside of complex diagnostic panels is that they require major R&D efforts. If the open source platform becomes available to a large database of experts worldwide, thousands of applications based on their areas of expertise will naturally create the infrastructure preventing emergence and spread of infections. We believe that the Open Source status is critically important for this purpose, while cost-efficient hardware of i-Diagnostics is essential for broad market acceptance. TIRF Labs’ team systematically pursues this goal since 2004.
In 2008-16, the US government granted TIRF Labs $4.3M in BAA and SBIR awards to develop such diagnostics. We excelled in our Phase 1 efforts, invented and prototyped i-Diagnostics platform technology, which is suitable for a broad range of applications from the detection of viral infections to cancer panels and longevity prognosis. With the capability of testing over 100 different markers simultaneously, we believe that our invention opens a new era of mega-diagnostics, where one test can replace a dozen of current tests.
Our technical objective is to combine nanotechnology and microfluidics, nano-fabrication and micro-photonics with molecular beacon, aptamer beacon, and aptabodies bioassays to downsize the mega-diagnostics laboratory to a handheld device suitable for home use. Our target cost for the i-Diagnostics reader to be below $400 and cartridges $1- $10.
With Phase 1 already being completed, TIRF Labs is looking to raise 2 million USD to start the Phase 2 effort. The overall Phase 2 effort will require estimated 75 million USD to make i-Diagnostics available to everyone and to create the envisioned infrastructure.
In Phase 2 we plan to refine the application development tools that will be shared with the diagnostics research community. We also plan to upgrade the handheld i-Diagnostics and start manufacturing. We will develop several applications in our lab. However, the main goal is to create global infrastructure with a broad range of FDA-approved applications to prevent spread and emergence of infections.