OpGen Extends and Expands Partnership with New York State Department of Health to Detect Antimicrobial-Resistant Infections

  • Collaboration with NYS Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center continues for extended six-month term until September 30, 2021 
  • Project utilizes OpGen’s Acuitas® AMR Gene Panel and Acuitas Lighthouse® Software within digital health and precision medicine platform at multiple healthcare institutions

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OpGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPGN) announced today that its strategic collaboration with the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) to develop a state-of-the-art solution to detect, track, and manage antimicrobial-resistant infections at healthcare institutions statewide is being extended beyond the second-year expansion phase by another six months through September 30, 2021.

Having successfully achieved all of the milestones of the first and second year phases for the development of an infectious disease digital health and precision medicine platform that connects healthcare institutions to DOH and uses genomic microbiology for statewide surveillance and control of antimicrobial resistance, OpGen will continue to work together with DOH’s Wadsworth Center and the participating healthcare systems to expand the reach of the platform, increase the volume of testing, and enhance data collection. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which had slowed down testing throughout much of 2020, the extension and expansion phase allows all stakeholders to generate significantly more data as testing volumes have been increasing substantially from fall of 2020 month by month until the end of March 2021 to date.

The DOH, OpGen, and all stakeholders will continue to work collaboratively to demonstrate that a sustainable, flexible infectious diseases reporting, tracking and surveillance tool for antimicrobial resistance can be applied across New York State. The six-month extension and expansion phase will build on the successes and experience of the first two years while focusing on accomplishing the goal of this visionary effort to improve patient outcomes and save healthcare dollars by integrating real-time epidemiologic surveillance with rapid delivery of antibiotic resistance results to care-givers via web-based and mobile platforms. OpGen is providing its Acuitas® AMR Gene Panel for rapid detection of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens along with its Acuitas Lighthouse® Software for high resolution pathogen tracking. The six-month extension and expansion contract includes a quarterly retainer-based project fee as well as volume-dependent per test fees for a total contract value of up to an additional $540,000 to OpGen, which includes unused budget resources from the second-year phase.

“We are excited and grateful that despite the continued COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health of New York State and the Wadsworth Center continue to work with us and have expanded their partnership beyond the second year, adding another up to 1,680 AMR Gene Panel tests to be run,” commented Oliver Schacht, CEO of OpGen. “The quick spread of antimicrobial resistant superbugs across healthcare systems is the silent pandemic hidden underneath the current COVID-19 pandemic. We anticipate that with our innovative diagnostic solutions we will be able to proactively identify such pathogens leading to early intervention and lifesaving treatment. This six month extension period gives us the time to also discuss and evaluate potential future forms of collaboration with the NYS DOH across the state.”

The precision medicine solutions provided by OpGen to accomplish the project goals are:

  • The OpGen Acuitas AMR Gene Panel, a rapid diagnostics platform capable of detecting and identifying multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens in under three hours and for use with the Acuitas Lighthouse Software. Together, these products can help to rapidly identify and locate antibiotic resistance threats in healthcare institutions and networks. Both systems are commercially available for Research Use Only (RUO) and the Acuitas AMR Gene Panel for use with bacterial isolates is pending an expected FDA clearance decision as soon as practicable given FDA’s staffing resource constraints.
  • The OpGen Acuitas Lighthouse Software includes Acuitas Lighthouse epidemiology dashboards with high-resolution pathogen tracking through healthcare facilities, to cities, regions, as well as the entire state.

Wadsworth Center Deputy Director Dr. Victory Derbyshire said, “Under Governor Cuomo's leadership New York State continues to lead the nation in addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Working with our private-sector partners, the Wadsworth Center is able to further advance our mission to improve the public health of all New Yorkers.”

About Antimicrobial-resistant Infections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that annually in the United States we face
2.8 million infections with 35,000 deaths and $49 billion in lost productivity – all attributable to antibiotic resistant infections. Among the infectious diseases the parties are working to address are carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria; they are untreatable and hard-to-treat infections on the rise among patients in medical facilities. CREs have become resistant to all or nearly all the antibiotics we have today. Almost half of hospital patients who get bloodstream infections from CRE bacteria die from the infection. The CDC has classified CRE’s as one of three urgent threats to the public health.

About Wadsworth Center Laboratories

The Wadsworth Center laboratories stand at the forefront of biomedical and environmental sciences and their interplay. The Center serves a vital role in the New York State Department of Health’s efforts to protect and promote the health of New York’s citizens. Building on more than a century of excellence as the state’s public health laboratory, the Center continues as a premier biomedical institute that merges clinical and environmental testing with fundamental, applied and translational research. Today, Wadsworth Center scientists use both classical and contemporary approaches to study environmental and biological questions related to human health and disease. They develop advanced methods to identify microbial or chemical threats; study drug resistance, emerging infections, and environmental exposures; manage the country’s most comprehensive diagnostic and environmental testing laboratory permit program; oversee extramural research programs on stem cells, breast cancer and spinal cord injury; and train the next generation of scientists through undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and visiting scientist programs.

About OpGen, Inc. 

OpGen, Inc. (Gaithersburg, MD, USA) is a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease. Along with subsidiaries, Curetis GmbH and Ares Genetics GmbH, we are developing and commercializing molecular microbiology solutions helping to guide clinicians with more rapid and actionable information about life threatening infections to improve patient outcomes, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms, or MDROs. OpGen’s product portfolio includes Unyvero, Acuitas® AMR Gene Panel and Acuitas® Lighthouse, and the ARES Technology Platform including ARESdb, using NGS technology and AI-powered bioinformatics solutions for antibiotic response prediction.

For more information, please visit www.opgen.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes statements regarding OpGen’s collaboration with the NYS DOH Wadsworth Center. These statements and other statements regarding OpGen’s future plans and goals constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that are often difficult to predict, are beyond our control, and which may cause results to differ materially from expectations. Factors that could cause our results to differ materially from those described include, but are not limited to, our ability to successfully, timely and cost-effectively develop, seek and obtain regulatory clearance for and commercialize our product and services offerings, the rate of adoption of our products and services by hospitals and other healthcare providers, the fact that we may not effectively use proceeds from recent financings, including our November 2020 private placement, February 2021 Registered Direct and March 2021 warrant exercise and exchange, the realization of expected benefits of our business combination transaction with Curetis GmbH, the success of our commercialization efforts, the impact of COVID-19 on the company’s operations, financial results, and commercialization efforts as well as on capital markets and general economic conditions, the effect on our business of existing and new regulatory requirements, and other economic and competitive factors. For a discussion of the most significant risks and uncertainties associated with OpGen's business, please review our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are based on our expectations as of the date of this press release and speak only as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Oliver Schacht
President and CEO

OpGen Press Contact:
Matthew Bretzius 
FischTank Marketing and PR

OpGen Investor Contact:
Megan Paul
Edison Group 

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Source: OpGen, Inc.