Diatherix gets new federal grant to study pathogens

Diatherix Vice President of Research and Development Elena Grigorenko | Courtesy of Diatherix

Diatherix Laboratories said last week that it had secured another federal grant to further its research on diagnosing strains of E. coli bacteria and other pathogens.

Diatherix -- a Huntsville, Alabama-based medical diagnostics company -- received the award from the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is the second contract awarded to the company, and the funds will be used to support the development of diagnostic tools to help detect E. coli bacteria and two other “high priority” pathogens -- Francisella tularensis and Babesia microti -- the company said.

All three pathogens aren't found in nature, but are high on the priority list at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases because they are easily transmitted, via food and other agents, and can impact public health.

Diatherix will use the grant to continue its research on DNA extraction technology to aid with detecting the three pathogens, a Tennessean newspaper article said.

Diatherix Vice President for Research and Development Elena Grigorenko said that detecting the pathogens is a “crucial component of public health safety” that can reduce the threat and burden of infectious diseases.