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Quanterix Wins $733K QTDP Grant to Develop Array-Based Prostate Cancer Test

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By Justin Petrone

Quanterix this week said that it has been awarded $733,437 in grants under the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program. The QTDP program, funded through the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, supports therapeutic discovery programs.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Quanterix will use the funds to develop its AccuPSA prostate cancer test, which runs on its single molecule array, or SiMoA, platform. The company said it will also use the money to develop tests for Alzheimer's disease and Crohn's disease.

President and CEO David Okrongly in a statement called the SiMoA platform "disruptive" and said the firm aims to create a "new standard in sensitivity, precision, speed, and cost savings for the diagnostics market."

Quanterix touts its AccuPSA test as being more than 1,000 times more sensitive than the most sensitive commercial prostate specific antigen assays, and said the assay is designed to determine which prostate cancer patients will remain cancer-free after surgery and to detect early signs of disease recurrence.

Founded in 2007, Quanterix's technology platform includes arrays of femtoliter-sized reaction vessels, each vessel sized to confine a single molecule of interest. The arrays are formed by etching tens to hundreds of thousands of separate reaction vessels into the end of an optical fiber bundle.

According to the firm, each vessel can be used to trap single molecules, and the optical fiber bundle carries light into and out of each vessel, allowing each well to function as an independent assay for a single molecule.

Quanterix’s system also features a proprietary image-capture device and image-analysis software. Since its inception, the company has positioned its technology for use in molecular diagnostics (BAN 9/9/2008).

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