OPKO Health, partners awarded $3 million NIH grant

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $3 million grant to an OPKO Health partnership to develop a rapid diagnostic test for Lyme disease.

The grant was issued to Memphis-based Immuno Technologies working in collaboration with OPKO Diagnostics and Columbia University of New York, the companies announced Tuesday.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and Europe and is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the United States. According to recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control, about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease occur in the United States each year.

"We look forward to development and commercialization of this breakthrough test that will address a large and growing global health challenge,” said David Okrongly, president of OPKO Diagnostics. “A rapid and more accurate in-office diagnostic for Lyme disease would be a game changer and help insure prompt and effective treatment for patients.”

Nancy Dahlberg