American Leprosy Missions partners with Biomeme, Inc. to develop and commercialize hand-held point-of-need PCR testing solutions for combatting infectious diseases like neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and COVID-19

Apr 23, 2020

(Greenville, SC, and Philadelphia, PA, USA, April 22, 2020) – American Leprosy Missions (ALM) and Biomeme, Inc. (Biomeme) announced today that they have entered into a research and sales agreement. This partnership will allow ALM to adapt Biomeme’s innovative hand-held molecular point-of-need testing technology to serve those affected by, or at risk of, NTDs and other serious infectious diseases like COVID-19. The partnership with Biomeme enables ALM and its network of research partners in NTD–endemic countries to develop rapid, reliable molecular diagnostic solutions for use in remote contexts. This innovative technology provides a novel polymerase chain reaction (PCR) workflow that transforms the user’s smartphone into an advanced mobile lab, capable of performing PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, and isothermal tests with real-time results. At the heart of the solution is a handy, easy-to-use, mobile qPCR thermocycler from Biomeme, smaller than a box of tissues. The internally battery-powered, lightweight device delivers results in 30-45 minutes, and does not require electricity, centrifugation, or cold chain logistics. Dr. Sundeep Chaitanya, Director of Research and Innovation at ALM, said: “Quality diagnostic equipment can be difficult and expensive to buy, operate and maintain, particularly in contexts where infectious diseases like NTDs are the most prevalent. Biomeme’s cost-effective technology, with shelf-stable reagents and rapid time-to-results is a true game changer. Normally it takes six to nine months to get test results from typical PCR diagnostics. With Biomeme’s revolutionary technology we will be able to get results in less than one hour, saving our partner research labs and health facilities critical resources in their fight against neglected tropical diseases like leprosy and Buruli ulcer.” ALM’s Vice President of Innovation and Ventures, Darren Schaupp, noted: “This innovative technology can help strengthen our partners’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as neglected tropical diseases. Delays in accurate diagnosis of NTDs can mean a lifetime of complications and disabilities for people and push families deeper into poverty. Partnering with Biomeme to develop and deliver field-friendly diagnostic solutions translates into people receiving the correct, timely treatment they need.” Max Perelman, Biomeme’s Co-Founder and Business Lead, added: “We’re excited to collaborate with ALM’s team of scientists and practitioners who are committed to serving those affected by NTDs and those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This partnership reinforces Biomeme’s role in the fast-developing field of mobile point-of-care molecular testing and further extends our technology from biothreat and environmental surveillance to the realm of neglected tropical diseases.”

About American Leprosy Missions

American Leprosy Missions, based in Greenville, South Carolina, is the oldest and largest Christian organization in the United States dedicated to curing and caring for people affected by leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases. It supports projects, research and partners in countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. Since its founding in 1906, American Leprosy Missions has provided holistic care to more than four million people around the world including medical treatment and training, community development, vaccine research and innovative ventures like the AIM Initiative. More information at: leprosy.org | aiminitiative.org | ntdinnovation.org.

About Biomeme, Inc.

Empowering anyone anywhere – mobile DNA analysis in the palm of your hand. Biomeme entered into molecular detection in 2012 when it created the first smartphone add-on capable of performing real-time PCR. Since its inception, Biomeme has used advanced biology and chemistry, along with world-class hardware and software engineering, to create elegant solutions to complex problems. Headquartered in Philadelphia, USA, Biomeme offers a full suite of end-to-end mobile molecular solutions. Biomeme’s end-to-end solution includes 1-minute sample prep, shelf-stable reagents, hand-held thermocyclers, a cloud portal and API that perform to the gold standard used by the world’s most advanced central labs but requires no lab equipment or special experience to use. To find out more about Biomeme, visit biomeme.com.

For Additional Information

Sarah Hesshaus, Vice President of Business Process and Communications
864.241.1731 | [email protected]