APVS meets with the Tuberculosis Clinical Diagnostics Research Consortium

On June 24th, the executives and staff of APVS were pleased to receive a visit from Dr. Derek Armstrong of the NIAID/NIH-funded Tuberculosis Clinical Diagnostics Research Consortium (CDRC), an interdisciplinary consortium of scientists, clinicians and support personnel whose mission is to provide data on the performance of investigational diagnostics and their potential impact on TB management algorithms in endemic countries.
Upon his return from Uganda, Dr. Armstrong arranged time in his very busy international travel schedule to meet, at the APVS offices,  for a demonstration of TBDx and discussion of the worldwide TB landscape. The meeting afforded us an opportunity to discuss specific issues with respect to TB microbiology and epidemics, smear microscopy and other diagnostic technologies. He reviewed the operation and performance of the Signature Mapping TBDx System and found the technology to have considerable diagnostic potential for impacting the growth of TB, worldwide. Also, we discussed a potential collaboration between SMMS and CDRC, which in turn led to a comprehensive discussion about the overall Signature Mapping “diagnostic platform” and its extensibility to other disease diagnostic applications.
During the full-day visit we had time to discuss both operational research and commercialization next steps. Critical to the expansion of our diagnostic platform is access to subject matter experts to supplement and guide our research team, and Dr. Armstrong felt that he could provide guidance and recommendations on potential subject matter experts. We also discussed the potential to have TBDx installed in several clinical ‘luminary’ sites to conduct expanded research, provide expert feedback, and to publicize their experience in routine usage. Dr. Armstrong believes TBDx fits the characteristics that CDRC considers when establishing research collaborations and worldwide investigation, evaluation and deployment. He will report his findings and recommendations to the Executive Committee of CDRC who will consider potential future collaboration. The advice and counsel of CDRC is invaluable and the potential to utilize its clinical locations as luminary sites will further assist SMMS in exposing the technology to the worldwide marketplace.
Dr. Derek Armstrong, M.H.S., Microbiologist, International QA/QC Coordinator, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University and Tuberculosis Clinical Diagnostics Research Consortium (CDRC). Dr. Armstrong has worked for numerous years in screening and diagnosing TB in the Division of Public Health Microbiology, Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Currently, he works with the TB CDRC contract team as a microbiologist for study-related activities such as conducting feasibility studies of new diagnostics whereby he provides feedback to the technology holder with respect to further development or evaluation.

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