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Ribomed Awarded $1M from HSARPA to Develop Molecular Biowarfare Detection System

NEW YORK, August 16 (GenomeWeb News) - Ribomed Biotechnologies has been awarded a $1 million contract from the US Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a sensor for DNA, RNA, and proteins in biowarfare agents, the company said late Friday.


The company, based in Phoenix, Ariz., said it received the contract in July under HSARPA's Bioagent Autonomous Network Detector, or BAND program. It funds the 18-month initial phase of what the company said it expects to be a four-year project.


The contract involves developing a system that will sample the air every three hours then analyze for at least 20 agents, including anthrax and smallpox. The company will adapt for this purpose its

its RiboMaker dectection system, which uses an isothermal abscription, or abortive transcription process for detection of target nucleic acids or proteins. According to the company he system can produce thousands to millions of signals from a single target nucleic acid or protein and does not use PCR or gel electrophoresis.


In the initial phase, the company will focus on optimizing abscription for mass spectrometry-based detection of RNA viruses and protein toxins.


The company said that Northrop-Grumman will build the device, and will utilize sample collection technologies developed by MicroET, as well as DNA amplification technologies developed by Ionian Technologies, and RNA and protein detection technologies developed by Ribomed.


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