Using Sequencing and AI for Infectious Disease Detection

Day Zero Diagnostics has raised $8.6 million to further develop a sequencing-based rapid diagnostic that identifies, within hours, both the species and the antibiotic resistance profile of a bacterial pathogen.

Day Zero Diagnostics (DZD) is seeking to develop a more effective way of detecting infectious disease using artificial intelligence and genome sequencing. The Boston-based company announced it has raised $8.6 million in its mission to further develop the test.

DZD’s series A round was led by Triventures with significant participation from existing investors including Sands Capital Ventures and Golden Seeds.

With the financing, the company will accelerate prototype development of its sample preparation technology and computational approach. In addition, funds will enable the introduction of the company’s DZD Lab Services, a suite of sequencing based diagnostic services to help clinicians address critical infection situations and transmission events.

The company said its technology, which is in development, is a sequencing-based rapid diagnostic that identifies, within hours, both the species and the antibiotic resistance profile of a bacterial pathogen. Current approaches take days to provide similar information, a time delay that is associated with an 8% increase in death per hour for severe infections. DZD said it uses high throughput sequencing technologies and proprietary machine learning algorithms to rapidly predict pathogen species and drug resistance profiles.

“We’re developing a technology using modern machine learning methods for analyzing genomic data," Jong Lee, CEO & Co-founder of Day Zero Diagnostics , told MD+DI.  "Rather than waiting for culture to grow, we sequence DNA directly from complex clinical samples and then use our computational approach to analyze the genomic data to predict its antibiotic resistance profile.” 

There have been some significant movements in the race to develop better diagnostics in for antibiotic resistance.  Earlier this month, Novodiag CarbaR+, a test for detecting carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) in just 80 minutes, won CE mark. The test was approved by Mobidiag. 

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