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Biosearch Tech Wins $750K SBIR Grant for Pathogen Assays

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Oligonucleotide-based tools company Biosearch Technologies has reeled in a $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop assays for military applications, the company said yesterday.

The Novato, Calif.-based firm plans to use the Phase II SBIR grant from the US Department of Defense to continue development of rapid and accurate assays for detecting pathogens that the military deems important.

The funding covers development of assays for use in testing for rickettsial pathogens, some of which are listed as Category A or B pathogens by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as development of analyte-specific reagents, the company said.

The assays will be based on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology that has been modified for use in overseas military operations.

“Stable field-deployable reagents for the rapid detection of highly infectious and often lethal pathogens in the field of military operations are of high importance,” Biosearch Technologies’ Director of Research and Development Jerry Ruth said in a statement.

“Such reagents will also be useful in determining the environmental source of each pathogen,” Ruth added.

The company also recently was awarded another Phase II SBIR grant from DoD to design and develop assays for six arbovirus pathogens.

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