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  • Writer's pictureIES Life Sciences

A Test To Predict The Severity of Covid-19 In An Individual Patient

An URGENTLY needed COVID-19 test for identifying and stratifying coronavirus-infected people.

*Donate $25 or more and IES will include your saliva as part of the Covid-19 study! You get to be a part of innovation in the making!*
*ALL donations will be matched 9:1 by the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program ONLY if donations total $10,000!*

Meet The Innovator Livestream series will interview biotech entrepreneurs who are at the frontline of our war on cancer. The event will be hosted by Sound Affects Founder/Director Mona Jhaveri and will feature current cancer-fighting campaigns on the Sound Affects platform.

We will talk with David Spiegel and Marc Manoff of IES Life Sciences. We will learn about their efforts to adapt a cancer diagnostic into a new test for COVID-19. Check out the IES campaign. Your support is needed.

What is the critical gap in cancer treatment that you are addressing?

As the world endures the coronavirus pandemic, it has become imminently clear that a highly accurate test for identifying those infected with COVID-19 will dramatically help reduce the number of coronavirus casualties.

That said, knowing whose infected is not enough to halt the spread of disease. It is equally important to be able to distinguish between those who will react to coronavirus infection with mild or no symptoms, and those who will exhibit severe symptoms, sending them to the ICU. A diagnostic tool of this kind and caliber offers clinicians the capability of deciding which patients need aggressive treatment and hospital support, and which can simply go home, stay isolated and ride it out. By stratifying patients in this regard, limited medical resources  – i.e. staff, medicines, ventilators, etc. – would be conserved and devoted only to patients who are most in need. This approach would both save lives and reduce the burden on our medical system.

IES Life Sciences is well-positioned to quickly develop and rapidly scale a COVID-19 test for both identifying and stratifying coronavirus-infected people. We have developed a platform diagnostic technology that can identify disease and patient outcomes based on early signals (interferons) launched by the immune system. Previously we outfitted our platform to test for lupus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common and very contagious respiratory virus, and other diseases. Now we are preparing to do the same for COVID-19. (See our previous campaign for an ovarian cancer test).

What is the key product development milestone you seek to fund?

IES urgently NEEDS blood specimens from patients with confirmed mild, moderate and severe cases of COVID-19! This will allow us to develop a test for COVID-19 that will 1)  identify the presence of the disease at the earliest stage of infection (including patients who are asymptomatic) and 2) determine how each patient is likely to react to the disease.

How will funds be used?  Please provide a breakdown of major budget items. 

Funds will be matched by the 9:1 by the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program and will be allocated as listed:

  1. Acquisition of patient samples $20,000

  2. Purchase of testing materials $20,000

  3. Direct Labor costs $60,000

What key resources have/will you acquire to facilitate the accomplishments of the above product development milestone?  (current funding sources, strategic partnerships, talent, infrastructure)

IES has the staff as well as access to the laboratory facilities and equipment to complete the required testing and analysis.  With appropriate funding, IES can rapidly acquire the necessary materials for the test itself.

However, our big challenge is securing blood samples from patients with confirmed cases of Covid-19.   To acquire these samples rapidly, IES intends to strategically align with the CDC or another government agency who can readily provide the blood specimens. Alternatively, IES may secure the samples through a University laboratory that is currently conducting research on COVID-19 or through private sector biotechs working on complementary technologies for fighting COVID-19, such as therapeutics and vaccines.

If successful, how would you leverage funds raised through our portal to access key funding from other sources (i.e. matching grants, investments)

IES will strategically leverage private equity funding through sources that have already expressed interest in our platform if IES can, in fact, demonstrate further proof of concept with COVID-19.  We believe funds raised through this platform can help us demonstrate this, which will, in turn, attract downstream capital needed to continue our work.

If your technology were to disappear in the “Valley of Death” funding bottleneck, how might this impact society? 

COVID-19 has become a national emergency. There is great concern that as the pandemic grows, existing resources will be strained far beyond current capacity.  Without a test that can predict the likely course of the disease for a patient, significant resources will be spent on unnecessary treatment, limiting the availability of resources for those who would most benefit from intervention. IES believes our diagnostic technology can help!

Watch the full video here:

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