Overall The Center for Innovation in Point-of-Care Technologies for HIV/AIDS at Northwestern University (C- THAN) will develop a pipeline of needs-based point-of-care technologies critical for improved management of HIV/AIDS infected individuals in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). C-THAN will harness our existing expertise and our research and clinical network which has a 17-year history of dynamic and productive collaboration on addressing infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. Northwestern University is joined by the Universities of Lagos, Ibadan and Jos (Nigeria), Cape Town and Stellenbosch (South Africa), University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies Bamako (Mali) and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Tanzania). The United Nations' Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has set the ambitious 90-90-90 goals to achieve detection of 90% of HIV cases, treatment for 90% of those cases, and viral suppression for 90% of those treated, by 2020. This will not be achieved in LMICs without improvement of the current diagnostic pathway with POC diagnostic tests that are affordable, rapid, easy to use, and require little maintenance. C-THAN will serve as a platform for the support of research projects to develop POC technologies that address this unmet need across multiple levels of technology readiness which are amenable to the conditions of the developing world. Projects supported will range from needs assessment to commercialization, with a view to ensuring translation into clinical impact. Our overall goal is to support the development of POC technologies to promote high priority topics of NIH HIV/AIDS research, including: Reducing HIV incidence by improving screening, detection and treatment monitoring related to HIV, HIV drug resistance, and antiretroviral drug levels; Diagnosing HIV-associated comorbidities which include tuberculosis (TB), non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM), hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV); Reducing health disparities by developing testing technology that can function in underserved community settings; and Training of the workforce able to translate POC technologies from Reseach & Development to implementation. The C-THAN structure will incorporate clinical and user needs in project development while providing expertise and resources to address early barriers to commercialization and implementation. Its Core components will operate in an integrated manner to deliver a scope of work entailing: 1) assessment of unmet clinical needs in POC testing for HIV/AIDS and its comorbidities; 2) collaboration with relevant scientists, physicians, researchers and engineers; 3) development of essential technical, clinical, industrial and regulatory partnerships; 4) clinical testing of prototype POC devices in the field; and 5) creation of training opportunities for technology developers, evaluators, and other stakeholders. C-THAN will have major impact on the prevention and clinical management of HIV/AIDS in LMICs and globally, and will lay a knowledge foundation to sustain POC technology development beyond its lifespan. 1
The Center for Innovation in Point-of-Care Technologies for HIV/AIDS at Northwestern University (C- THAN) will be a vital partner in the NIBIB Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN). C- THAN's mission is to develop a pipeline of point-of-care (POC) technologies critical for improved management of HIV/AIDS infected individuals in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) and facilitate technology commercialization. To create C-THAN, we have assembled a scientific consortium with a 17-year history of collaboration on addressing infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa made up of Northwestern University and Universities of Lagos, Ibadan and Jos (Nigeria), Cape Town and Stellenbosch (South Africa), University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies Bamako (Mali) and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Tanzania).