Accelerating innovation in diagnostic testing

Accelerating innovation in diagnostic testing

LymeX seeks public input on diagnostic tests for Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. An estimated 476,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme each year — but the true number of infections is unknown, partially due to the limitations of serological testing.

The Lyme Innovation Accelerator (LymeX), a new innovation partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, is identifying, developing, and implementing advancements in Lyme disease care. Through March 15, LymeX is seeking public input on accelerating innovation in diagnostic testing for Lyme disease:

“HHS has identified an area of known need in developing more advanced diagnostic tests that diagnose infection at all stages of Lyme disease. Therefore, the LymeX partnership is embarking on a series of initiatives, including prize challenges to develop new diagnostic tests for Lyme disease. This RFI is intended to gather information on the current state of the science and development landscape for new diagnostic tests from the entrepreneurs, scientists, and physicians who will develop and use them.”

A year ago, “PCR testing” and “antibody tests” were phrases that didn’t come up in casual conversation; now, many of us quote our neighborhood COVID positivity stats as if they were sports scores. The coronavirus pandemic has emphasized the public health impact of testing and the world of possibility around diagnostics. Capturing this momentum could help transform diagnosis and care for other epidemics, including Lyme disease. Better diagnostics yield better information, which yields better decisions and responses. If we can measure a problem and understand how big it is, we’re one step closer to solving it.

Each year, 3 million blood specimens are tested for Lyme disease in the U.S. And as tick-borne diseases spread to new geographic areas, the need for better diagnostic testing will only become more urgent. Luminary Labs is honored to support prize competitions and innovation accelerators, including LymeX, on behalf of HHS and its partners.

Share your comments on next-generation diagnostics for tick-borne diseases: Respond to the LymeX request for information by March 15.

Find out about more competitions, accelerators, events, and other opportunities from Luminary Labs and our extended network: Sign up to receive open innovation alerts.  

Photo by Jamice Haney Carr, Claudia Molins, USCDCP on Pixnio.