New Rapid Field Test for Tuberculosis

January 15, 2008

With TechLink assistance, Bamburgh Marrsh (BAMA) of Vancouver, Washington, has licensed a Navy-developed technology for rapid tuberculosis diagnosis using oral fluids (saliva). BAMA was founded in 2002 specifically for the purpose of pioneering new applications using novel saliva-based diagnostic systems. This is the second license that BAMA has taken out with the Naval Institute of Dental and Biomedical Research (NIDBR), with assistance from TechLink.

BAMA will combine the Navy technology for rapid diagnosis of acute tuberculosis (TB) with patent pending technology, which it has developed. The resulting commercial product will be used to diagnose extra-pulmonary TB and childhood TB.

TechLink presented the licensing opportunity to BAMA, helped the company develop its license application, and assisted NIDBR and the licensee in creating a plan for further technology development prior to commercialization.

The result of BAMA’s technology license and subsequent development efforts will be a tool that allows rapid diagnosis of TB in fi eld settings. Current diagnostic procedure requires sputum to be viewed under a microscope by trained personnel in a laboratory, or chest X-rays involving exposure to radiation. BAMA’s oral fluid-based integrated immunochromatographic test device will provide immediate results (within 20 minutes), with high accuracy.

The commercialization of this diagnostic tool is especially important, since TB is a serious health threat in low income countries where laboratory equipment is scarce or nonexistent. The technology will improve health care for US war fighters in foreign deployments and benefit public health in underdeveloped areas.