"Rapid diagnostics for pathogen identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing are central to developing global solutions for antimicrobial resistance," said Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines Clinical Development, Merck Research Laboratories. "By providing OpGen with access to our archive of bacterial pathogens, we hope to expedite the development of rapid diagnostic tests and enable prompt and informed antibiotic prescribing to improve patient outcomes."OpGen will initially perform molecular analyses on up to 10,000 pathogens to identify markers of resistance to support rapid decision making using the Acuitas Lighthouse® MDRO Management System ("Lighthouse Portal"), and to speed development of OpGen's rapid diagnostic platforms. OpGen's Lighthouse Portal and Knowledgebase are being developed to provide antibiotic stewardship and tracking information for drug resistant pathogens in hospitals and health systems. Merck will gain access to the high-resolution genotype data for the SMART isolates as well as access to OpGen's Lighthouse Portal to support internal research and development programs. About the SMART StudyThe Study for Monitoring Antimicrobial Resistance Trends (SMART) was initiated by Merck in 2002 to monitor the in vitro susceptibility of clinical isolates to 12 commonly used antibiotics in different regions of the world to survey changing trends in antibiotic susceptibility. SMART currently monitors antibiotic activity against gram-negative bacteria isolated from two common types of infection: intra-abdominal and urinary tract infections. Isolates have been collected from patients with complicated intra-abdominal infections since 2002 and from patients with complicated urinary tract infections since 2010. In 2016, Merck anticipates that more than 41,000 isolates will be collected. This research agreement is executed between OpGen and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc. The Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, a venture capital arm of Merck, is an investor in OpGen Inc. About OpGenOpGen, Inc. is harnessing the power of informatics and genomic analysis to provide complete solutions for patient, hospital and network-wide infection prevention and treatment. Learn more at www.opgen.com and follow OpGen on Twitter and LinkedIn. OpGen, Acuitas, Acuitas Lighthouse and QuickFISH are registered trademarks of OpGen, Inc.
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