HelixBind Named a Phase 2 Winner of the LymeX Diagnostics Prize by HHS and Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
BOXBOROUGH, Mass., Feb. 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HelixBind, which is developing an innovative diagnostic platform to revolutionize care for invasive infections, including Lyme disease, announced today that it has been selected by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation as a Phase 2 winner of the LymeX Diagnostics Prize, a prize competition to accelerate the development of Lyme disease diagnostics.
There is a critical need for new Lyme disease diagnostics: With an estimated 476,000 cases annually, Lyme disease is by far the leading vector-borne disease in America. But the current diagnostic process—a two-tiered antibody testing algorithm originally developed in 1994 for disease surveillance, not as a stand-alone diagnostic test—relies on the presence of antibodies and can only be used accurately four to six weeks after infection. Early diagnosis of Lyme disease is critical. If left untreated, the debilitating disease can become harder to eradicate and spread throughout the body.
HelixBind’s solution is RaPID/LD, a molecular diagnostic assay designed to provide ultra-sensitive direct detection of active Borrelia infections directly from whole-blood. In order to address the immense challenges associated with this task, HelixBind utilizes an innovative approach to sample preparation combined with a proprietary detection technique utilizing uplex DNA invading artificial nucleic acids to identify infecting microorganisms in complex matrices such as whole blood, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid.
“We are extremely grateful for the continued support from HHS and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation and their recognition of RaPID/LD’s potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of early Lyme disease,” said Alon Singer, Ph.D., CEO of HelixBind. “We look forward to continuing our work together to bring RaPID/LD to market.”
Over fifty teams participated in the LymeX competition. Ten were selected as Phase I winners and offered access to virtual learning, mentorship, and subject matter expertise. Five teams, including HelixBind, were chosen to advance.
Thanks to a $10 million pledge to the LymeX Diagnostics Prize from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, at least $7 million in additional LymeX prizes are projected to be available in proposed future phases. Visit LymeXDiagnosticsPrize.com for more information and subscribe to the competition newsletter to receive future updates.
About HelixBind, Inc.