Day Zero Diagnostics announced that it received an $8.2 million award in optional stage funding from CARB-X.
The infectious disease diagnostic developer received an initial $6.2 million CARB-X award in May 2020. CARB-X, the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, aims to accelerate early antibacterial R&D. This would address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria.
Day Zero’s total award funding now sits at more than $16 million. The company also completed a venture equity financing worth $21 million in February.
Anti-biotic-resistant infections remain on the rise. Worries persist that superbugs could eventually evolve to the point that antibiotics no longer work effectively. In 2020, more than 20 biopharmaceutical companies around the world pledged more than $1 billion toward the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Fund.
Day Zero develops whole genome sequencing-based diagnostic technologies. The company designed them to identify both the species and the antibiotic resistance profile of a bacterial pathogen. It does so from a blood sample, within hours. This eliminates the need for a culture.
“We greatly appreciate CARB-X’s continued support as we pioneer a new class of infectious disease diagnostics that leverage whole genome sequencing and machine learning to enable rapid identification of pathogens and their antibiotic resistance profile. Day Zero Diagnostics is determined to bend the curve on antibiotic resistance growth by enabling rapid and accurate diagnosis,” said Jong Lee, CEO of Day Zero Diagnostics. “This latest CARB-X award validates the tremendous progress our team of scientists and engineers have made in bringing these novel technologies to maturity and demonstrating the tremendous potential of genome sequencing technology in combating antibiotic resistance. CARB-X’s continued support now focuses on productizing these technologies so we can help fight the global threat of antibiotic resistance.”
How Day Zero plans to use the funding
Day Zero said that its option stage funding from CARB-X enables a transition into product development. Its ultimate goal remains the launch of an FDA-cleared and CE-marked in-vitro diagnostic instrument and cartridge system.
The company is developing the system to provide a sample-to-answer solution. It incorporates the capabilities of the company’s novel technologies, including Blood2Bac. Blood2Bac is a proprietary sample preparation technology for ultra-high enrichment of bacterial DNA from clinical blood samples. Keynome, the Day Zero machine learning algorithm for species identification and resistance profiling, also features.
Day Zero also intends to expand its MicrohmDB large-scale database. It combines pathogen genomic sequences with their known antibiotic resistance and susceptibility profiles.
“We are pleased to support Day Zero Diagnostics’ development of its rapid infectious disease diagnostic technology,” said Erin Duffy, chief of research and development at CARB-X. “Day Zero’s whole genome sequencing and machine learning technology is a novel approach that could change the way infectious disease is diagnosed, help curb antibiotic resistance, and save lives.”