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GeneCapture wins contract with Defense Health Agency for rapid wound pathogen detection and antibiotic susceptibility testing

28 Dec 2020 9:35 AM | Deleted user

GeneCapture technology directed at rapid treatment of wound infections

December 16, 2020 (Huntsville, Ala.) – GeneCapture and subcontractor Canvas Inc. were recently awarded a $250,000 Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) for feasibility testing of GeneCapture’s rapid portable Infection Diagnostic (ID) and Antibiotic Susceptibility Test (AST). DHA is seeking ways to quickly diagnose and accurately treat wound infections in civilians and in injured Warfighters. GeneCapture’s ID and AST platform will enable medical providers of all skill levels to treat infections with the appropriate antibiotics at the Point of Care.

The rapid treatment of an infection with the right drug is critical to the fight against global antimicrobial resistance (AMR.)  The pathogens of interest to the DHA are the ESKAPE pathogens – Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcusaureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter spp., and Escherichia coli. Multidrug resistant ESKAPE pathogens contribute to AMR world-wide and pose a critical threat to the Warfighter.      

“Wound infections can be fatal. DHA is seeking to address this problem with novel solutions that combine identifying the pathogen and determining which antibiotic works best, both right at the Point of Care.  Antimicrobial resistance is a serious, global problem, and GeneCapture is pleased to have been selected to demonstrate our lab-free approach for this Phase I study,” states GeneCapture Chief Scientist Paula Millirons.

Subcontractor Canvas Inc. brings software development, AI/machine learning, image processing and microbiology expertise to support GeneCapture in developing pathogen fingerprints from the CAPTURE assay data. Canvas and GeneCapture have collaborated on previous biotech projects to bring infection detection solutions to the Point of Care.

GeneCapture has developed the CAPTURE assay (Confirm Active Pathogens Through Unamplified RNA Expression), which uses a novel non-PCR protocol to quickly identify a pathogen’s RNA from a custom library of probes on a microarray. Now GeneCapture’s platform will also include a breakthrough AST assay providing rapid on-site testing of various antibiotics once the single or mixed pathogens have been identified. Both assays are designed to operate in remote environments without refrigeration or a lab infrastructure.

Photo caption: GeneCapture and Canvas microbiologists prepare experiments to demonstrate rapid identification and antibiotic susceptibility for pathogens of interest to Defense Health Agency.


About GeneCapture: 
Gene Capture is developing a rapid infection detection device for use in point of care medicine.  Using a “Genetic Signature Match” Gene Capture has been able to detect multiple infectious pathogens in human samples in about an hour.  The GeneCapture technique detects the RNA of the pathogen, which indicates that the organism is alive; a major benefit of the platform. Recently, the GeneCapture team developed a rapid antibiotic susceptibility test for use in point of care and remote applications.  GeneCapture’s labs are on the campus of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The early technology was developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.  For more information see

About Canvas:
Canvas, Inc., a Huntsville-based Woman-Owned Small Business, provides Engineering and Technical Services to a diverse group of customers in the areas Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Test and Evaluation, Technology and Product Development, and Warfighter Operations Management. Canvas was named Government Contracting Technology Business of the Year (2018) and Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year (2018) by the Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce. For more information see

About HudsonAlpha:
About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and fosters more than 40 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

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