FILODIAG

Ultra-fast molecular filovirus diagnostics

FACTS & FIGURES

Start Date
End Date
Call
IMI2 - Call 2
Grant agreement number
115844

Contributions
IMI Funding
2 260 105
EFPIA in kind
0
Other
0
Total Cost2 260 105

Summary

The FILODIAG project aims to deliver an ultra-fast, accurate diagnostic instrument that will test for Ebola in under 15 minutes. Such a system could be used in both healthcare settings and at critical infrastructures like airports. Current tests for Ebola virus take a long time because samples must be heated and then cooled in each of the many processing cycles. This project will replace the heating/cooling steps with a technology based on laser-heated nanoparticles.

Rapid diagnostic tests

There is an urgent need for fast, reliable tests to determine if someone is infected with Ebola or not. Three projects, Mofina,  FILODIAG and  EbolaMoDRAD, will pave the way for rapid diagnostic tests capable of delivering reliable results at the point of care in as little as 15 minutes.

The FILODIAG project aims to deliver an ultra-fast, accurate diagnostic instrument that will test for Ebola in under 15 minutes. Such a system could be used in both healthcare settings and at critical infrastructures like airports. Current tests for Ebola virus take a long time because samples must be heated and then cooled in each of the many processing cycles. This project will replace the heating/cooling steps with a technology based on laser-heated nanoparticles. Early tests of this technology have worked well. The project will add a step to concentrate the virus and refine and test the system before evaluating it in the field.

A part of the Ebola+ Programme

The IMI Ebola+ programme was launched in response to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak that started in western Africa in 2014. The comprehensive programme contributes to efforts to tackle a wide range of challenges in Ebola research, including vaccines development, clinical trials, and transport, as well as diagnostics. The programme complements work being carried out with the support of other funding bodies. In addition to Ebola, the programme will also address related diseases, such as Marburg.

About Ebola and related diseases

Ebola virus disease (EVD), previously known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. The virus spreads in the human population through direct human-to-human contact with the bodily fluids of infected patients who are showing symptoms. It has an incubation period of 2-21 days, and it usually begins with flu-like symptoms, but rapidly progresses to multiple organ failure and blood-clotting abnormalities which manifest as internal and external haemorrhages (bleeding). It is fatal in between 25% and 90% of cases. There is currently no licensed treatment against EVD, and the development of treatments and preventive measures such as vaccines is hampered by challenges including manufacturing-related hurdles, the stability of vaccines during transport and storage, vaccine deployment, and the time taken to diagnose cases of EVD.

Ebola is a member of the filovirus family of viruses, which also includes Marburg virus. Like Ebola, Marburg causes cause severe, often fatal haemorrhagic fever in humans and other primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees), and like Ebola, it is transmitted directly from one person to another. (In contrast, other viruses that cause haemorrhagic fevers are spread via intermediate hosts - for example, dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes.) There is no specific treatment or vaccine against Marburg haemorrhagic fever.

The 2014-15 Ebola epidemic was unprecedented in its scale and geographical distribution. By the middle of 2015, World Health Organization (WHO) statistics recorded over 27 000 cases and 11 000 deaths from the disease, most of them in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The epidemic highlighted the need for research into better vaccines, diagnostics and treatments to stop future epidemics in their tracks.

Participants Show participants on map

Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
  • Emergency Life Support For Civilian War Victims Ong Onlus, Milan, Italy
  • Istituto Nazionale Malattie Infettive Lazzaro Spallanzani, IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  • Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-sized companies (<€500 m turnover)
  • GNA Biosolutions GmbH, Martinsried, Germany

CONTACT

Project coordinator
Lars Ullerich
GNA Biosolutions GmbH
0049 89 990 207 199
ullerich[at]gna-bio.com