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NIAID Awards EraGen Grant for Genomics-based Bioweapon Diagnostics

NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (GenomeWeb News) - EraGen Biosciences, a genetic diagnostics firm based in Madison, Wis., said today that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded it a biodefense grant worth "nearly $1 million" to develop diagnostics for bioweapons detection using its GeneCode sample quantitation and genotyping system.

Under the two-and-a-half-year grant, EraGen will modify the GeneCode technology to detect several Category A bioweapon agents - those that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined would cause the greatest harm to the population if intentionally released by a terrorist .

EraGen will also optimize its technology for infectious disease targets such as SARS. "With our Anthrax, Smallpox and SARS GeneCode detection systems already in the hands of health experts worldwide, this next phase will allow EraGen to develop an entire suite of highly specific diagnostics," said James Prudent, CSO.

The company said it recently delivered its SARS testing system to the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, three international Centers for Disease Control, and Asian health organizations.

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