NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ibis Biosciences said today that it will receive up to $8.4 million in funding from government agencies to develop and run assays on its biosensor platform for pathogen detection and human forensics.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service awarded the firm, which is a majority owned subsidiary of Isis Pharmaceuticals, up to $4.2 million to use its influenza assay to identify and differentiate avian influenza strains, to distinguish high pathogenicity from low pathogenicity strains, and to aid in the tracking of avian influenza transmissions. The contract also includes funding for the development of assays for detection of a broad range of agricultural pathogens.
Ibis said that the National Institute of Justice awarded it funds under a two-year project to develop next-generation human forensics markers that would run on the Ibis T5000 Biosensor System. It also received contracts from other government agencies to fund expansion of its pathogen detection and identification assays and to use the firm’s assay services laboratory.
Ibis President Michael Treble said in a statement that the company has brought in revenues of $73 million to fund development of the biosensor platform and assays. “We are now in the position to continue to fulfill our government contracts while focusing on clinical applications with Abbott and quickly moving into larger commercial markets,” he said.
Abbott currently holds a nearly 20 percent stake in Ibis with an option to buy the remaining interest from Isis. An Abbott official told GenomeWeb Daily News in late July that the firm is likely to exercise its option to acquire Ibis for an additional $175 million to $190 million at the end of this year.