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Virogenomics to Use $2M NIST Grant to Develop Portable Multiplex Assay

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Virogenomics said today that it has won a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a handheld assay that would test for multiple biomarkers at once.
The grant was awarded under NIST's Advanced Technology Program. The company said it is developing the technology, which it calls the Sensor System on Panel, or SSOP, test with a number of collaborators, including Sharp Labs of America's Materials and Device Applications Lab, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, and the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center.
The SSOP test will screen for autoimmune diseases, allergies, cancers, and infectious diseases, and is based on technology the company licensed from Oregon Health & Science University.
The company said that the SSOP “will include all the hardware and firmware required to do a complete analysis of the interaction of biological molecules and communicate the result.”
The device is expected to be “the size and shape of a typical USB flash drive, and could be read on a standard personal computer through a USB port,” the company said.
"The ability to rapidly screen for multiple disease markers and antibodies in real time on a microchip will enable healthcare providers to make on-the-spot medical decisions," said OHSU researcher Arthur Vandenbark, a co-inventor of one of the biochip designs to be developed for the SSOP.