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Genalyte Receives $500K SBIR Grant for Diabetes Assay Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Multiplex assay development firm Genalyte today announced it has been awarded a $500,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop multiplexed diagnostic assays for the early detection and monitoring of type 1 diabetes.

The award is from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The assays being developed will run on Genalyte's Maverick Detection System, which uses a silicon chip containing arrays of photonic ring sensors for the detection of multiple antibodies and other proteins from a single small sample.

The platform automates the washes, incubations, reagent processing, and other steps in the analysis process, Genalyte said.

It said that it will use the SBIR grant to build a multiplexed assay for detecting autoimmune response for known targets of type 1 diabetes, and then expand the assay capabilities to profile autoantibody response.

After the autoantibody panels have been developed and tested, San Diego-based Genaltye will validate them using samples from type 1 diabetes patients. Genalyte said it expects to collaborate on this phase of the project with researchers from the laboratory of the late George Eisenbarth at the Barbara Davis Diabetes Center of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

"The pioneering work of the late Dr. Eisenbarth and others established that the development of type 1 diabetes is an incremental process, as rogue elements of the immune system over time compromise and eventually destroy the pancreatic islet cells that produce insulin," Martin Gleeson, CSO of Genalyte, said in a statement. "The unique capabilities of our Maverick multiplexed detection platform have the potential to provide researchers and clinicians with the tools to detect and track this process from a very early stage, when therapeutic intervention to interrupt the process could be feasible."

Genalyte was founded in 2007 and earlier this year it raised $11.8 million in a Series B financing round.

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