NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biosearch Technologies said today that it has won an $800,000 grant from the US Department of Defense to design and develop rapid and accurate assays for testing of hazardous pathogens.
The DoD Small Business Innovation Research grant will be used to develop reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR assays for field deployment in overseas military operations, the Novato, Calif.-based company said.
The Phase II SBIR grant will fund rapid assays for six arbovirus pathogens that have been listed by the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center to be in the top-20 of the Global Risk-Severity Index. Several of the agents are also listed as Category A or B Priority Pathogens by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The grant also covers the development of analyte-pecific reagents for use in the tests, the company said.
“Field-deployable assays for the rapid and specific detection of highly infectious and often lethal diseases in the field of operations are of paramount importance to military personnel,” Jerry Ruth, director of research and development at Biosearch Technologies and the principal investigator on the grant, said in a statement.
“Additionally, such assays may also be used for monitoring the environmental source of such pathogens,” Ruth said.