ProteinLogic and Stellenbosch University receive $1.3 million grant

ProteinLogic and Stellenbosch University receive $1.3 million grant to develop blood test to monitor response to TB antimicrobial chemotherapy

  • ProteinLogic, Cambridge, UK and Stellenbosch University, South Africa collaboration study funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • ProteinLogic extends ImmiPrint® Technology to address TB antimicrobial chemotherapy response monitoring.
  • ProteinLogic ImmiPrint® diagnostic pattern of soluble immune proteins in blood and other body fluids portfolio defined using machine learning.
  • ImmiPrint® off-the-shelf diagnostics and disease progression monitoring tests address multiple disease areas including infectious diseases and oncology.
  • ImmiPrint® technology applicable to resource-rich and emerging economy clinical settings.

ProteinLogic, a biomarker discovery and commercialization company and Stellenbosch University, today announced that they have received a $1.35 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development of ImmiPrint® Technology to monitor treatment responses to TB antimicrobial chemotherapy. The collaborative project was conceived and developed with the assistance of PTNG Consulting, a specialised science consultancy. PTNG Consulting will oversee the project management of this undertaking.

ProteinLogic has forged a partnership with Stellenbosch University, South Africa, renowned for their significant contributions to global TB research. The non-dilutive funding from the Gates Foundation will allow ProteinLogic and Stellenbosch University to determine whether the use of ImmiPrint® technology can be extended to the monitoring of clinical responses to TB antimicrobial therapy.

Tuberculosis is one of the world’s deadliest diseases, killing about 3600 people per day in 2022. For people living with HIV, it is a major risk, accounting for one-third of deaths among this community. While global health efforts made steady progress against TB, the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions to essential TB services, effectively reversing much of the progress made.

Additionally, the rise of drug-resistant strains of the bacterium causing TB has led to a sense of urgency to develop new treatments and prevention methods.

Current treatments are lengthy (6 months treatment regimen) and diagnostic methods are complicated and costly. New treatments that are safer, shorter, simpler, and more affordable are urgently needed.

ProteinLogic’s ImmiPrint® Technology is a sensitive, specific, and minimally invasive precision medicine technology that uses high-throughput immunoassays to measure the levels of multiple immune system proteins in body fluids. They are comprised principally of soluble cluster of differentiation (CD) proteins as well as cytokines. These play a key role in immune responses and provide the basis for the identification of disease-specific patterns in blood and other body fluids. Patterns of these proteins can be used to define diagnostic proteomic fingerprints that are able to detect the presence of multiple different disease types sensitively and specifically.

ProteinLogic’s ImmiPrint® Technology was developed by the Company’s scientific co-founders, the inventor of monoclonal antibodies and Nobel Prize winner Dr César Milstein and Dr Adrian Woolfson.

ImmiPrint® technology has been extensively clinically validated as a rule-out test for active Tuberculosis (TB) in prospective clinical cohorts of patients from around the world and meets or exceeds the WHO-mandated active TB rule-out test criteria. 

The ability to monitor clinical responses to TB antimicrobial chemotherapy and the potential to predict TB antimicrobial chemotherapy responses at an early timepoint, will have a significant impact on the duration of clinical trials for new TB antimicrobial chemotherapies. Reducing the cost of research and development and enabling physicians to determine treatment outcomes in a timely manner will aid directly in the development of novel anti-TB chemotherapies.

Peter Klimt, Chairman of ProteinLogic, commented: “ProteinLogic’s ImmiPrint® technology provides the basis of a universal protein based search engine for the rapid, efficient, and cost-effective discovery of diagnostic biomarker signatures that address multiple disease categories. The non-dilutive funding received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will allow the Company to continue to explore the use of ImmiPrint® technology in the TB therapeutic area. We are immensely grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and our investors for supporting ProteinLogic’s vision for the future of disease diagnostics, which includes a focus on the development of high-impact and affordable diagnostics and disease monitoring systems accessible to both industrialised nations and developing economies.”

Professor Novel Chegou, Head of the Diagnostic Biomarker Research Laboratory, Stellenbosch University, South Africa stated: “Our colleagues and ourselves at Stellenbosch University have been fortunate to lead several clinical trials researching TB diagnostic biomarkers as part of the African-European Tuberculosis Consortium (AETBC), ScreenTB, TriageTB and other multicentred studies. Through this experience we have access to a large number of samples from a diverse range of clinical trials, collected in South Africa and other African sites. Tuberculosis to this day kills more people globally than HIV/AIDS and is the number one killer when it comes to deadly infectious diseases. Multidrug-resistant TB remains a public health crisis and we are in desperate need for new tools that may assist in the control of the disease. We are very grateful and excited to be using the funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to work together with ProteinLogic to determine the suitability of their biomarker signature and our own biomarkers for TB treatment monitoring. Our laboratory, as it is situated in a high burden African country and works closely with other laboratories across Africa is uniquely positioned to answer this question.”

About ProteinLogic

ProteinLogic is a biomarker discovery and exploitation company developing a novel diagnostic platform and diagnostic products that address key unmet medical needs in infection and inflammatory diseases. The Company has developed a proprietary biomarker technology (ImmiPrint®) with potential to diagnose and predict early onset of diseases, and to provide information as to how a disease is likely to develop and respond to particular drug treatments. The technology is based upon the profiling of a discrete subset of immune system proteins (‘sCD’) found in the blood and other body fluids. In addition to the TB and hepatitis B diagnostic tests there are several potential follow-on products in the Company’s pipeline.

ProteinLogic is headquartered in Cambridge, UK.

About Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University (SU) is a proudly African knowledge hub that serves our country and continent through excellent education, research, and innovation. Our vision is to be Africa’s leading research-intensive university, globally recognised as excellent, inclusive and innovative, where we advance knowledge in service of society. With our 32 000 students, 3 300 staff and world-class academic environment, we not only count among South Africa’s leading higher education institutions, but among the top universities in the world. Our ten faculties – AgriSciences, Arts and Social Sciences, Economic and Management Sciences, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine and Health Sciences, Military Science, Science, and Theology, as well as the School for Climate Studies, the School for Data Science and Computational Thinking and the Stellenbosch Business School – are located across five campuses in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

About PTNG Consulting

PTNG Consulting is a specialised science consultancy that supports biotech and pharma companies – as well as academia – in all their protein-based endeavours. In addition to the planning and management of multi-partner international projects, PTNG Consulting provides computational biology and protein engineering services. The company’s highly experienced scientists use cutting-edge computational tools in combination with decades of experimental knowledge to de-risk clients’ projects and improve their chances for clinical success.


Peter Klimt, non-executive Chairman

Stellenbosch University
Wilma Stassen, News and Media Coordinator

PTNG Consulting
Simona John von Freyend, Managing Director