BOULDER – Boulder bioscience firm SomaLogic Inc. recently received more than $1 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to continue development of a low-cost, simple tool for diagnosing tuberculosis in developing countries.

The new funding is in addition to the $515,000 received by SomaLogic from the foundation in 2012 through the same Grand Challenges in Global Health grant program.
Ten companies originally received funding in 2012, with that number getting pared down in the latest round.

“We are delighted that the Gates Foundation is as excited about our work to date as we have been,” Urs Ochsner, head of the infectious disease research group at SomaLogic, said in a press release. “Their decision to generously support the further development of our efforts will help us accelerate the realization of our shared goal of defining a low-cost simple to use tool that can quickly and accurately diagnose TB in developing countries.”

Tuberculosis is still present throughout the world, but is particularly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and a sizable portion of the Pacific Rim.

The combined TB protein and human protein-based SOMAmer reagents developed under the 2012 grant will be the basis for moving toward a rapid and effective TB diagnostic test under the current funding. With the new money, researchers will also evaluate the test in various sample types such as serum, plasma and urine.