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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


BARDA Supports a Rapid, Deployable, Sensitive Diagnostic Platform to Diagnose Anthrax

Author: HHS/ASPR Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority
Published Date: 11/20/2017 1:55:00 PM
Category: Medical Countermeasures; Innovations; Public Health Preparedness;

In the wake of an anthrax attack, medical responders need to quickly determine who has been infected so that they can be effectively treated. A rapid, accurate diagnostic test is an essential tool for doctors and other health professionals to effectively triage people who may be infected with anthrax. Such a tool has been long requested by medical responders as a critical component of anthrax preparedness.

On September 27, 2017, BARDA awarded a $3,199,221 base period of a contract to Tangen BioSciences Inc. of Branford, CT to further advance and expand the ability to combat the threat of Bacillus anthracis with the TangenDx Molecular Diagnostic System (TangenDx™ System), which is a rapid, sensitive, low cost, and field deployable diagnostic assay.

If approved, the TangenDx™ System could be used to determine whether a symptomatic patient had been infected with anthrax-causing Bacillus anthracis bacteria in as little as 15 minutes. Preliminary data indicate that the TangenDx™ System could be as sensitive as current blood cultures with results hours quicker. The test can be based on a wide range of specimen types, including blood, sputum, and other methods of specimen sampling.

Detecting anthrax infections allows for effective treatment. BARDA’s portfolio includes supporting three anthrax antitoxin drugs approved by the FDA.

BARDA also supports advanced development of vaccines to prevent illness after exposure to anthrax and improvements to the only anthrax vaccine licensed for use post-exposure so that fewer doses are needed to protect human health.

Rapid diagnostic capabilities are critical to saving lives. That’s why BARDA is committed to developing diagnostics that are fast, accurate, and able to be used in a wide array of settings.


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