DURHAM – Baebies will receive up to $11.6 million in non-dilutive funding to support the development of a near-patient and rapid diagnostic testing platform to identify sepsis, specifically for neonatal and pediatric patients, from CARB-X.

The award consists of nearly $4 million in initial funding and an additional $7.7 million in funding based on milestones achieved by the company, and comes from the global nonprofit partnership that provides funding and support for any project that aims to address drug-resistant bacteria as noted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

“There is a critical need for a rapid and easy-to-use diagnostic platform for bacteremia – especially for the newborn population given the low circulating blood volume available for testing. Through this CARB-X partnership, the development of blood culture and identification of bacteria on our FINDER platform not only enables clinicians to receive results fast, but also conserves the limited blood volume by maximizing the diagnostic yield,” said Vamsee Pamula, cofounder and president of Baebies, in a statement.

10M newborn screenings and counting – a big milestone for Durham-based Baebies

Sepsis is the human body’s response, often life-threatening, to infection caused by bacteria, and can lead to tissue damage and organ failure, and is the precipitating cause for nearly 1 million newborn deaths globally each year.

The company’s fully-automated testing platform, FINDER, is powered by digital microfluidics technology, a method to manipulate droplets of liquid by electrical control of surface tension on a disposable cartridge, said the company.

The company has raised more than $56 million according to Crunchbase, including a $6 million round in July 2019, following $12.8 million the prior year.  The company also received a grant of more than $56,000 from the One North Carolina Small Business Program in February.