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Celldom Lands $938K Phase II SBIR Grant From NCI

NEW YORK – Cell analysis firm Celldom said Tuesday that it has won a $938,647 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute.

In an email, CEO and Cofounder Ben Yellen said the grant will fund development of an application of its instrument for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) potency testing. "We can perform a complete lot release assay with just a few thousand cells, which enables CAR T to be administered without needing to expand the cells ex vivo," he said.

Celldom's instrument combines imaging-based phenotyping with molecular profiling. The grant is the third SBIR award for San Carlos, California-based Celldom, a Duke University spinout.

In 2018, it won a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an instrument and perform time-lapse imaging of single cell clones for drug resistance screening. A second grant, funded in 2021, was used to integrate gene expression measurements with live cell images at high throughput.

According to the abstract of the latest grant, Celldom seeks to include additional measurements of cytokine secretions, cell surface markers, and gene expression to existing phenotypic parameters.

"We further aim to retrieve high priority clones from specific microwells to analyze the transcriptional states and clonality of different subpopulations," the firm wrote.