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UK government gives £1m to infectious agents projects


New development projects will improve the assessment of point-of-care tests for infectious agents

Three major projects are to receive over £1 million of government funding to enable them to develop new and improved health-economics tools or products that will assist and improve the design and evaluation of diagnostic clinical trials for infectious agents.

The funding, from the Technology Strategy Board in partnership with the Department of Health and with additional contributions from the Economic and Social Research Council to fund academic social science components, has been awarded for three development contracts.

These will be undertaken by Diagnostics for the Real World (Europe) Ltd, Integrated Medicines Ltd and the Health Protection Agency.

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The funding award follows the organisations’ success in the ‘Assessing the Impact of Near-Patient Testing’ competition for development contracts managed by the Technology Strategy Board and developed in discussion with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA).

The competition was run under the Technology Strategy Board’s infectious disease programme that aims to reduce the economic burden, death and illness due to infectious agents.

“Supporting innovation in healthcare is a priority for the Technology Strategy Board,” said Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board.

“Through these contracts we look forward to seeing the development of new and improved health-economics modelling tools that will help companies and organisations design and evaluate diagnostic clinical trials.

“We hope these new tools will lead to better adoption of diagnostic products by providing assessors and decision-makers with high-quality data on their impact.”

Two of the projects, to be undertaken by Diagnostics for the Real World and the Health Protection Agency, will focus on sexually transmitted infections, while the Integrated Medicines Ltd project will focus on sepsis.

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