Day Zero Diagnostics, Inc., an infectious disease diagnostics company harnessing the power of whole-genome sequencing and machine learning to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections, today announced it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The award will support the integration of ultra-long read genomic sequencing from Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) into the company’s epiXact® service for rapidly detecting healthcare-associated infection (HAI) outbreaks. The service equips infection control professionals with the precision and clarity of whole-genome sequencing during outbreak investigations, allowing them to respond with the speed and decisiveness required to get ahead of potentially life-threatening and rapidly spreading infections. epiXact is already able to provide a definitive determination of pathogen relatedness in two days or less. Integrating ONT’s sequencing technology will make this already robust solution even faster and more actionable.
The rising prevalence of antibiotic-resistant organisms has dramatically increased the risks of healthcare-associated infections, which affect 4-5% of hospitalized patients in the United States and result in roughly 99,000 patient deaths each year.1 The processes commonly used to identify suspected outbreaks in hospitals are imprecise and subjective and often result in significant costs, disruptions for hospitals and patients and can still fail to control an outbreak. With epiXact, infection control teams are armed with actionable results in a time frame required to make critical intervention decisions to get ahead of a spreading infection.
“Precision and speed are essential for identifying and controlling HAI outbreaks,” said Mohamad Sater, Ph.D., Day Zero’s Director of Computational Biology and Principal Investigator of the NIH-supported study. “epiXact is unique because it offers unprecedented clarity that only whole-genome sequencing can provide in such a short timeframe. This award from the NIH will help accelerate the integration of ONT’s ultra-long read genomic sequencing into our service and allow us to provide accurate decision-making information to infection control professionals faster than ever before.”
This announcement follows the conclusion of several of Day Zero’s collaborative efforts with leading microbiological groups in the United States that demonstrate the significant positive impact epiXact can have on clinical decision making. The results of these studies were published and presented throughout this year in Clinical Infectious Diseases, at the American Society of Microbiology annual meeting and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Decennial 2020 conference. epiXact is the first of many future applications of Day Zero’s new class of diagnostics that are intended to help physicians quickly and accurately diagnose, manage and treat life-threatening bacterial infections.
“EpiXact is a powerful illustration of the ability of our technology stack to reinvent how the world fights the ever-growing threats of HAIs and antibiotic resistance,” said Jong Lee, co-founder and CEO of Day Zero. “We have been thrilled by how positively institutions and hospitals respond to epiXact’s findings, attesting to the efficacy and actionability of our service. This award from the NIH will help us make it an even better solution for our customers and patients affected by HAIs.”
Research reported in this publication was supported by the NIAID of the NIH under Award Number R43AI156979. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
About Day Zero Diagnostics
Day Zero Diagnostics, Inc., based in Boston, is pioneering a new class of infectious disease diagnostics using whole-genome sequencing and machine learning to revolutionize how the world fights the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. The company’s mission is to change the way infectious diseases are diagnosed and treated by rapidly identifying both the species and the antibiotic resistance profile of severe infections without the need for a culture. By using sequencing, Day Zero also enables big data approaches for managing healthcare-associated infection outbreaks. Day Zero Diagnostics was founded in 2016 by a team of clinicians and scientists from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. The company has been recognized as a leading innovator by CARB-X, MedTech Innovator, TedMed Hive, Xconomy, HealthTech Arkansas, and MassChallenge HealthTech. For more information visit www.dayzerodiagnostics.com or follow us on Twitter at @dayzerodx.
1 Klevens, R.M., et al., Estimating Health Care-Associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals, 2002. Public Health Reports, 2007. 122(2): p. 160-166.