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Isis Receives $19.5M DARPA Contract for Biowarfare Sensor Development

NEW YORK, March 2 (GenomeWeb) - Isis Pharmaceuticals today said that it has received a two-year contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency worth up to $19.5 million for development of a biosensor to identify infectious agents in biological warfare attacks.

The contract brings the total amount of funding the company has received for the TIGER (Triangulation Identification Genetic Evaluation of Risks) biosensor technology to more than $55 million, including more than $35 million from DARPA, and a $6 million three-year grant from the CDC that the company was awarded in October 2003.

Isis is developing the technology for DARPA under a subcontract from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Under its so-called Ibis program, Isis is contributing expertise in microbial genome sequence analysis and advanced mass spectrometry technology, while SAIC is providing signal processing capabilities.

Isis said it has used the TIGER biosensor to identify a variety of bacteria and viruses in numerous sample types, including human clinical samples and environmental samples such as water and air.

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