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Washington Life Sciences Group Provides Support for MDx, CTC Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Life Sciences Discovery Fund, a Washington State agency that supports innovative research and development projects, has awarded $1 million to fund several new research projects, including efforts to develop new molecular and other diagnostic technologies.

One of the new awards will provide $250,000 to University of Washington Professor Gerard Cangelosi to develop and evaluate a rapid test for detecting common hospital-acquired infections, LSDF said on Friday.

Cangelosi will lead a project to develop high-sensitivity, high-specificity molecular viability testing technology with commercialization partner AttoDx, a Seattle-based firm that has an exclusive license to intellectual property on which the test is based. AttoDx also plans to create an instrument to automate the test through a parallel research project.

UW Professor Daniel Chiu won an $80,000 LSDF award to validate technologies he developed under earlier funding to detect recurrences of cancer early on. The technology Chiu has developed isolates circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and he will use this grant to validate and increase the specificity of the CTC assay.

These efforts should help to bring this assay closer to commercialization through two spinout companies that Chiu has already launched.

LSDF also said it is currently accepting early applications from Washington-based for-profit and non-profit organizations for up to $6.5 million in funding through two grant programs.

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