OliLux Biosciences Raises $400,000 From Open Philanthropy to Tackle Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

OliLux Biosciences, a public benefit corporation committed to ending endemic diseases through affordable innovation, announced today a $400,000 pilot award from Open Philanthropy. OliLux pioneered a novel solvatochromic trehalose dye, DMN-Tre, that allows accurate detection of tuberculosis (TB) at the point of care in resource-limited settings. Funding from Open Philanthropy will support a new program that expands the use of DMN-Tre for treatment monitoring and detection of drug-resistant TB.
“Fast and accurate diagnosis is critical to saving lives and preventing further spread of tuberculosis. The OliLux platform has the potential to expand the reach of current medicines,” said Heather Youngs, a program officer at Open Philanthropy. “We are thankful to Open Philanthropy for their support,” said Dr. Mireille Kamariza, CEO of OliLux Biosciences. “OliLux is excited to embark on this partnership to improve drug-resistant TB detection.”
OliLux Biosciences emerged from Stanford University based on the invention of DMN-Tre, published in Science Translational Medicine by co-founders Dr. Mireille Kamariza and Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi. Applications and practical utility of the DMN-Tre technology have been demonstrated in several peer-reviewed scientific publications and highlighted by Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) as chemistry that will have a global impact.
Together with co-founders Dr. Widya Mulyasasmita, a life science investor and entrepreneur, and Dr. Manu Prakash, Stanford Professor of Bioengineering and an avid proponent of frugal science, Drs. Kamariza and Bertozzi established OliLux in 2019 as a public benefit corporation and assembled an international team and advisors, including Dr. Bavesh Kana, prominent TB researcher and Professor at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
“We are delighted and honored to partner with Open Philanthropy to progress our new technology for the benefit of TB patients and the global health mission”, said Dr. Bertozzi. “We look forward to pursuing next-generation technologies at OliLux.” Dr. Kana, whose infectious disease laboratory helps in the fight against COVID-19, said that “The COVID pandemic has taught us many things, among which is that the world is still underprepared for the diagnosis of infectious disease pandemics. The development of novel, scalable diagnostic reagents that can be applied at point of care is an important global health priority.”
By providing this pilot award, Open Philanthropy joins OliLux in South Africa and Southeast Asia to accelerate access to effective tools for the detection, management, and ultimately eradication of TB worldwide.
About OliLux Biosciences
OliLux Biosciences is a public benefit corporation founded to leverage scientific innovation to tackle global public health challenges. For more information, please visit www.oliluxbio.com, stay connected on LinkedIn, and follow @OliluxB on Twitter.
About Open Philanthropy
Through research and grantmaking, Open Philanthropy hopes to make philanthropy go especially far in terms of improving lives. For further information, please visit their website at https://www.openphilanthropy.org.
Media contact
Ruby E Dewi
ruby@oliluxbio.com
Source: OliLux Biosciences