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McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences

Cornell University

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Lyme in the News

The Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) has identified Lyme disease as the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the US, and a rapidly spreading global threat. While most cases of Lyme disease had been concentrated in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, Lyme has now spread to every state on the eastern seaboard, elsewhere in the US, and is becoming especially problematic in Canada and northern Europe.

The need for an improved diagnostic test for Lyme Disease is clear,

and the threat is widespread.

This is reflected in the pervasive coverage this disease is receiving from a wide array of news outlets. Ionica Sciences has selected and linked to recent articles published to illustrate the threat, with quotes that highlight the various aspects of this dire need.

The New York Times and Forbes have highlighted the need for a better assay, and the threat of Lyme disease. If the disease is not caught in the early stages, it is very difficult, at times impossible, to effectively treat.

 “The biggest problem is that there is no way to test, unequivocally, for the presence of the bacteria that cause the disease.” ~ New York Times, July 29, 2019

“There are no accurate diagnostic tests, no vaccines, and whatever treatment is provided is often inadequate.” ~ Forbes, May 29, 2019

The lack of an effective diagnostic test leads to a significant underestimate of the number of cases, leading to untreated cases and unnecessary medical care and significant associated costs.

“After analysing the anonymous medical records of 8.4 million people from across the UK, scientists forecast that the total number of Lyme disease diagnoses in the UK could top 8,000 in 2019, compared with previous estimates of between 2,000 and 3,000 annual diagnoses.” ~ The Guardian, July 31, 2019

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the country. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that the actual number of Americans who get Lyme disease each year may be closer to 300,000.” ~ Healthline, April 4, 2019

Research towards a new diagnostic assay is a focus within the Lyme community, with significant amounts of resources being put towards this effort.

“…Global Lyme Alliance and the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, have together directed more than $20 million to research in recent years. "These foundations are giving a lot of money"..."They want translational research, and they want answers."~ Science, April 17, 2019