GAITHERSBURG, Md. and HOLZGERLINGEN, Germany, Oct. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OpGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPGN, “OpGen”), a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease, announced today the award of a German Federal Government grant to its subsidiary, Curetis GmbH, and collaborators Carpegen GmbH (Muenster, Germany) and the Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine of the LMU Ludwig-Maximilians- University (Munich, Germany).
The project which was originally initiated via the VetDx network in Berlin and Brandenburg is set to receive funding under the “Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand” i.e., a central innovation program for medium sized growth companies in collaboration with academic institutions. The project will focus on travel related and enteric diseases in small animals which is an area of growing concern with increasing incidence rates. Several of these diseases are caused by potential zoonotic pathogens that could also be passed to humans, i.e. by looking at veterinary applications one might also help prevent human diseases in the future.
Currently there is no comparable rapid, automated, cartridge-based sample to answer molecular diagnostic system that would target these diseases, which the collaboration partners believe will be needed to successfully address the unmet clinical need. The primary project objective is to develop such a molecular diagnostics platform for infectious diseases in small animals. The 3-year project starts on December 1st, 2020. Under the grant project which has a volume of over half a million Euros, Curetis expects to receive EUR 152,000 in non-dilutive funding during this time.
Specifically, the project will be targeting travel related and enteric diseases in small animals such as parasitic diseases and viral infectious diseases. Curetis’ contribution will be focusing on the development and integration of sample preparation and assays onto the Unyvero A30 RQ platform, as well as integration of dried reagents into the diagnostic test cartridges that run on the system. Collaboration partner Carpegen will be focusing on the development of dried reagents and on joint sample preparation and assay development efforts together with the team at Curetis, while the academic partner LMU will be responsible for sample acquisition and prototype validation as well as for providing reference strains.
“We are excited to collaborate with Carpegen and LMU on this project which will help expand the use of our Unyvero A30 platform in development. Developing rapid veterinary diagnostics tests on such an automated platform will potentially open up future commercial and partnering opportunities” said Oliver Schacht, PhD, CEO of OpGen.
“We are really looking forward to participating in this exciting project which is the first project of Carpegen targeting the veterinary market” said Antje Roetger, PhD, CEO of Carpegen. “In addition, we are very pleased that we have the ongoing opportunity to work on a project involving OpGen’s Unyvero A30 RQ platform since the first prototype of this promising platform was developed within an R&D project led by Carpegen.”
“We are very happy for the opportunity to contribute to a new point-of-care system in veterinary diagnostics. With an annual case load of more than 5,000 patients as a first opinion and referral clinic we experience every day the need for accurate and fast diagnosis of infectious diseases. We consider it our obligation to find solutions for our patients, the pet owners, and veterinarians working in private practices by developing economical and easy-to-use laboratory tests in collaboration with innovative industry partners.” said Dr. Karin Weber, Head of Laboratory at the Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine.
About LMU Munich
The Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine as part of the LMU Munich is a leading academic institution in the field of veterinary internal medicine for cats and dogs and strives to actively participate in the development of sustainable diagnostic systems for small animal medicine. With our professional expertise we ensure that the products align with market needs. As a university research group we would like to contribute significantly to the progress of point-of-care systems in veterinary medicine. As a university veterinary clinic we would like to improve the diagnostic possibilities in small animal medicine for the benefit of our animal patients.
Carpegen (Muenster, Germany) is a provider of high-quality molecular diagnostics. We focus on developing real-time PCR assays and point-of-care systems for the diagnosis of specific infections and the detection of genetic biomarkers. Carpegen has developed Carpegen® Perio Diagnostics, a powerful real-time PCR based system that sets new standards in dental diagnostics. A main objective of Carpegen’s research program is to develop and out-license POC/PCR systems for diverse applications in medicine, as well as in food/beverage and environmental analytics. Since 2020, Carpegen offers sensitive and specific real-time PCR diagnostics for the detection of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
About OpGen, Inc.
OpGen, Inc. (Gaithersburg, MD, USA) is a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease. Along with its subsidiaries, Curetis GmbH and Ares Genetics GmbH, we are developing and commercializing molecular microbiology solutions helping to guide clinicians with more rapid and actionable information about life threatening infections to improve patient outcomes, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms, or MDROs. OpGen’s product portfolio includes Unyvero, Acuitas AMR Gene Panel and Acuitas® Lighthouse, and the ARES Technology Platform including ARESdb, using NGS technology and AI-powered bioinformatics solutions for antibiotic response prediction.
For more information, please visit www.opgen.com.
This press release includes statements regarding the award of a grant from the German government to Curetis GmbH and development efforts in veterinary applications for the Unyvero A30 RQ platform. These statements and other statements regarding OpGen’s products, their commercialization and launch, future plans and goals constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that are often difficult to predict, are beyond our control, and which may cause results to differ materially from expectations. Factors that could cause our results to differ materially from those described include, but are not limited to, our ability to successfully, timely and cost-effectively develop, seek and obtain regulatory clearance for and commercialize our product and services offerings, the rate of adoption of our products and services by hospitals and other healthcare providers, the success of our commercialization efforts, the impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s operations, financial results, and commercialization efforts as well as on capital markets and general economic conditions, the realization of expected benefits of our business combination transaction with Curetis GmbH, the effect on our business of existing and new regulatory requirements, and other economic and competitive factors. For a discussion of the most significant risks and uncertainties associated with OpGen’s business, please review our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are based on our expectations as of the date of this press release and speak only as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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