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Genomic Profiling Systems Wins $4.1M SBIR to Develop Anthrax-Detection Platform

NEW YORK, Aug. 12 (GenomeWeb News) - Genomic Profiling Systems, a microbial analysis startup based in Bedford, Mass., has received a three-year $4.1 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to develop a testing platform for rapid diagnosis of anthrax, the company said today.


GPS said that the system it is developing, called MultiPath, will enable rapid detection of biowarfare agents on a massive scale. The company expects the platform to have additional applications, including flu testing and detection of pathogens in food.


In its Phase I SBIR program, GPS demonstrated that its system "detected bacteria and soluble protein markers at levels that are thousands of times lower than achievable with standard commercial strip tests," Donald Straus, vice president of research and CSO, said in a statement.


According to the company's website, MultiPath combines a sandwich immunoassay using high-intensity fluorescent particles with proprietary imaging technology. In its abstract for the Phase II SBIR award, the company said that the test "rapidly detects multiple targets with sensitivities approaching nucleic acid amplification tests but with the cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness of over-the-counter immunoassay 'strip' tests."


The grant abstract said that the company's imaging technology "detects individual microparticles rather than the millions of particles required to detect a signal in standard strip tests."


GPS said that it will launch its first commercial product, the Growth Direct Test, which detects microbiological contamination in pharmaceutical products, in early 2006.

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