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3M, Northrop Grumman Get $15.8M to Develop MDx for Biological Weapons

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – 3M and Northrop Grumman are receiving funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services to develop molecular diagnostics as countermeasures against biological weapons.

The awards are two of eight contracts that were announced by HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority earlier this week that total more than $100 million. 3M will receive $6 million, while Northrop Grumman will get $9.8 million under the program.

According to a statement from BARDA, 3M and Northrop Grumman will develop "integrated diagnostic capabilities for rapid, high-throughput surveillance and molecular diagnostics." The diagnostics would be used to counter natural or man-made biological threats.

On deadline, HHS did not provide additional information about the project. 3M and Northrop Grumman did not respond to requests for interviews.

The BARDA contracts were awarded in four broad categories of medical countermeasure development: technology to accelerate candidate vaccine and therapeutic evaluation; "formulation chemistry, protein stabilization, and vaccine delivery technology;" methods in bioprocess development and manufacturing; and approaches and technologies to advance diagnostic test development for rapid diagnosis of human infections.

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