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Exact Sciences, Pressure Bio, Micronics Get IRS Grants for Technology Development

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Exact Sciences, Pressure Biosciences, and Micronics separately announced today that they had each received a $244,500 grant from the Internal Revenue Service to support continued development of their flagship products.

Exact's grant will support further development of its Cologuard screening test for colorectal cancer. Pressure Bio's grant will support further development of its pressure cycling technology platform. And Micronics' grant will fund further development of its PanNAT molecular diagnostics platform.

The grants were provided under the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project, a $1 billion program that was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. In order to qualify for the grant, the firms had to show the potential to produce a product that could prevent, detect, or treat chronic or acute disease and conditions; reduce long-term health costs; or significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within a 30-year period.

The program provides either a tax credit or a cash grant to companies with 250 employees or fewer who met the criteria listed above.

Exact's Cologuard test is a stool-based DNA test that is being developed as an adjunct to colonoscopies. The firm presented validation data on the test last week and expects to run clinical trials on Cologuard in 2011. Analysts anticipate the firm will launch the test with US Food and Drug Administration clearance in 2013.

Micronics said that its PanNAT system is "being advanced for the diagnosis of diseases in a new format that we believe represents a significant improvement over existing methods for molecular detection today."