Aperiomics is offering even non-scientists an opportunity to improve human health. The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support an adaptation of their technology to develop a faster and more accurate test for Lyme Disease than any currently available. Existing tests for this disease have up to a 70% diagnostic failure rate, a major problem considering that there are over 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease in this country alone, with many patients suffering from chronic infection.
A Better Way to Test for Lyme Disease in Ticks from Endemic Areas launched on April 22 and allows anyone to participate by contributing to the fund; donations can be for any dollar amount. All donors can share every step of the research process through the crowdfunding site, getting updates on study design, project data, and even being able to ask questions of the scientists. The site also has links to information about Lyme Disease and bios of the scientific team.
To participate in the crowdfunding project, donors are urged to contribute directly at www.experiment.com/lymedisease; share the link with family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; and to check back periodically as lab notes keep participants posted on progress.
According to Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, “We’re excited about the potential of this crowdfunding campaign which can both raise the funding we need to move our research forward, as well as educate the public about Lyme Disease and how to address it. What we are striving for is a transformation in Lyme Disease testing, not just an incremental advancement.” Aperiomics is seeking $14,575 to pay for sample collection, sequencing, materials and data analysis. Working through Experiment.com, the company has 30 days to reach its goal; donors are not charged unless the goal is reached.
In addition to its scientific work, Aperiomics is participating in the Sixth Annual Loudon Lyme 5K/10K and 1K Fun Run event on May 15. This event intends to “drive awareness and raise money to help find a cure for Lyme Disease – the number one tick-borne illness in the United States.”
Based in Ashburn, VA, Aperiomics was founded in October 2013 as a spinoff from the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Sterling. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches.
From a single test, Aperiomics can simultaneously test for all pathogens whether bacteria, virus, fungus or parasite. The sample can be tissue, plant, animal, or environmental. Based on its unique process that capitalizes on high-throughput next-generation sequencing and advanced Bayesian statistics, Aperiomics can not only find a “needle in a haystack” but can also reveal that a “needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen. This effective system translates into improved human and animal health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.
Recently, Aperiomics announced its second National Science Foundation Award in a year. With this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant, the company’s NSF funding through a total of three grants has now reached nearly a million dollars. In addition to support from the National Science Foundation’s SBIR and iCORP programs, Aperiomics has also received funding from the Center for Innovative Technologies of Herndon, VA, and from private investments.
Aperiomics was just announced as the Health & Life Sciences Innovator of the Year in the 2016 Greater Washington Innovation Awards competition sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, please visit www.aperiomics.com or look for the company on LinkedIn, Twitter and AngelList.