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Absorption Systems Wins FDA SBIR Grant

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Absorption Systems of Exton, Pa. has won a grant from the US Food and Drug Administration to continue developing its line of cell-based tests to measure drug interactions in humans, the company said today.

The $417,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant will fund the development of the CellPort Technologies suite of in vitro test systems. These tests are designed to monitor interactions of drugs with a class of proteins called drug transporters, which mediate drug disposition throughout the body.

Drugs that interfere with the ability of a transporter to eliminate other co-administered drugs can lead to elevated levels of the second drug, causing toxicity.

"Unlike results from other commonly used test systems, our results are not confounded by the presence of non-human transporters," Absorption Systems Senior VP of Scientific Operations Al Owen said in a statement. "Positive interactions with the CellPort system will translate directly to the clinic, as these systems are non-ambiguous models for human drug-transporter interactions."

The firm said that it will use the funding specifically to dedicate staff for the next two years to optimize, scale-up, and commercialize the CellPort system.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.