GADx Contributes to TB Diagnostic Advancements 

GADx is pleased to announce its significant contribution to a groundbreaking study published in PLoS One. The research, titled “Performance of Novel Antibodies for Lipoarabinomannan to Develop Diagnostic Tests for Mycobacterium tuberculosis,” showcases the collaborative efforts of international experts to enhance TB diagnostics. This study evaluates the performance of novel antibodies targeting lipoarabinomannan (LAM), a key component of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) cell wall. 

The work of our team members, James Schouten and Paul Davis, has been instrumental in advancing this important research. Their efforts, along with contributions from other global health organizations, aim to improve the sensitivity and specificity of TB diagnostic tests. 

James Schouten said: 

“It was incredibly inspiring to work alongside many valued experts in the field of TB diagnostics. The discovery of novel TB-LAM antibodies with high affinity to target and unique specificities was an exciting development and we look forward to further demonstrating their potential in detecting LAM at clinically relevant levels, with the aim of significantly improving TB diagnosis and patient care.” 

Key Findings 

The study assessed 25 new and 4 existing antibodies to find optimal combinations for detecting LAM in the urine of TB patients. Using a multiplex electrochemiluminescence-based liquid immunoassay, the researchers evaluated 841 antibody pairs to identify those offering superior performance compared to existing tests.  

The results revealed 28 antibody pairs with strong binding affinities, highlighting their potential to significantly enhance TB diagnostic accuracy. This advancement is crucial for developing rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) effective in resource-limited settings. 

Despite the identification of several new antibody pairs with high sensitivity to cultured LAM (cLAM), none of the candidates demonstrated increased performance with urinary LAM (uLAM) compared to an existing optimal pair. This finding suggests that further research is needed to develop antibodies that can effectively detect LAM in urine samples from TB patients. 

Implications for TB Diagnosis 

Tuberculosis remains a leading cause of death, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has further disrupted TB diagnosis and treatment, making the development of rapid and accurate diagnostic tools even more urgent. The antibodies developed through this study promise to facilitate early detection and timely treatment, thereby saving lives and reducing transmission. 

Collaborative Effort 

This research underscores the power of global collaboration, involving institutions such as PATH, FIND, various universities, and health institutes worldwide. The project received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Increased Demand for Antibodies 

Since the publication of this study, GADx has seen a surge in enquiries about these novel antibodies. This increased interest reflects the critical need for improved TB diagnostics and the potential impact of our latest advancements. To learn more or to request information, please visit our contact page

For more information on the study, visit the PLoS One website here

Frequent testing is invaluable and so it is vital to find ways to drive down the cost of kits and increase production levels. As a social enterprise, GADx can transform this process because it ‘breaks the link’ of ‘having to make profit for shareholders’.

Paul Davis
Co-founder of Mologic and pioneer of lateral flow diagnostics.