Morning Call (Allentown, PA) (07.18.2013)
Two founders of Bethlehem, Pa.-based OraSure Technologies, maker of the OraQuick HIV test, will work together to create a TB test. In 1988, Sam Niedbala and Mike Gausling partnered with two other friends to form what would become OraSure. Niedbala's new company, TB Biosciences, recently announced it received $1.5 million from a group of investors led by Originate Ventures, the venture capital fund co-founded by Gausling. TB Biosciences is working on a means of diagnosing the disease using antibodies found in the blood of patients with active TB. Niedbala believes that developing an improved TB test is part of the larger fight against HIV because so many HIV-positive individuals actually died of TB. According to TB Biosciences, preliminary trials indicated a 90-percent accuracy rate for the company’s technology, which the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine has developed throughout the past two decades. "This would be a major breakthrough in tuberculosis testing and could go a long way to saving many lives each year," said Frank Rimalovski, executive director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund.