Day Zero Diagnostics wins $6.2m from accelerator


MassDevice — Day Zero Diagnostics announced that it received an award of up to $6.2 million in non-dilutive funding from Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X).

The funding from the non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating early antibacterial R&D is intended to support Day Zero’s diagnostic system designed to help physicians diagnose and treat life-threatening bacterial infections.

Boston-based Day Zero said in a news release that its system helps offer the most effective antibiotic treatment on the first day that patients are admitted to the hospital, rather than having them undergo multiple days of toxic broad-spectrum antibiotics to prevent septic shock.

Day Zero’s system extracts bacterial DNA directly from a patient sample without the need for a time-consuming culture. It then uses the company’s proprietary machine-learning algorithm to analyze genomic data, identify the pathogen and determine its antibiotic susceptibility and resistance profile within hours.

The company is also eligible for an additional $18.7 million in funding from CARB-X if its project meets certain development milestones, meaning its windfall could reach $24.9 million in cash.

Day Zero said the CARB-X funding will allow it to develop its core technologies, such as Blood2Bac for ultra-high enrichment of bacterial DNA and the Keynome machine learning algorithm.

“There has never been a more dramatic demonstration of the importance of rapid and accurate diagnostics to combat infectious disease threats than the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Day Zero CEO Jong Lee said in the release. “Antibiotic-resistant infections can be extremely lethal, spread easily and persistently in healthcare institutions, and they continue to grow as a global threat. We are pleased to have CARB-X’s support to develop a new class of culture-free, sequencing-based diagnostics that can modernize the fight against these dangerous infections.”