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RealSeq Wins $300K NHGRI Grant for RNA Fragment Analysis

NEW YORK – RealSeq Biosciences said on Monday that it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute.

The $300,000 award will help the firm develop its RealSeq-RF technology for preparing libraries of small RNA (sRNA) fragments for analysis with next-generation sequencing and to advance its work in small RNA biomarker discovery.

"The development of RealSeq-RF is a key part of our strategy to excel in the RNA fragmentome field," RealSeq CSO Sergei Kazakov said in a statement. "This new approach advances the capability of RealSeq to allow specific detection of all small RNA types. RealSeq-RF provides researchers with the data they need to better understand the role of small RNAs in health and disease."

The RealSeq-RF platform is the basis for the Santa Cruz, California-based firm's RiboMarker RNA fragment-based diagnostic programs, including for Valley fever.

In the grant abstract, RealSeq said that its technology will help analyze the "full complement of the RNA fragmentome, most of which is represented by sRNA and sRNA fragments that are less than 50 nucleotides in size and possess 3'-phosphate or 2',3'-cyclic phosphate along with 5'-hydroxyl or 5'-phosphate termini." 

The firm plans to develop RealSeq-RF using model synthetic sRNAs then validate the approach by analyzing and comparing the sRNA fragmentome from plasma of healthy donors and leukemia patients, according to the grant abstract.

"Because many types of leukemia show no obvious symptoms early in the disease, the development of minimally invasive, early-stage detection of leukemia would be critical for its successful treatment," the firm added.

The SBIR grant follows a $1.5 million seed financing round closed in July.