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Fluxion Bio Wins $280K NIH Grant to Develop NIPT Assay

NEW YORK – Fluxion Biosciences said today that the National Institutes of Health awarded the firm a $284,132 Phase I research grant in September to develop its Spotlight non-invasive prenatal test. 

As part of the project, the Alameda, California-based firm will validate a model system for test development, integrate key test components, and conduct clinical testing to compare Spotlight NIPT performance to competitive NIPT screening assays. 

Fluxion said that it will base the new test on an isolation technology that selectively removes fetal cells from the mother's blood sample. The firm's researchers will then separate the cells and test them for chromosomal abnormalities and other genetic variants using the company's single-cell next-generation sequencing method. 

"We are honored to receive this NIH grant and excited to develop the capabilities of our cell-based NIPT assay," Fluxion CEO Jeff Jensen said in a statement. "Spotlight NIPT brings together several technologies pioneered here at Fluxion, and we look forward to advancing this important test to routine clinical use." 

Fluxion partnered with the Cleveland Clinic in March to further validate its liquid biopsy-based mutation variant caller technology for sequencing services.