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CellDom Wins $1.5M NIH Grant To Develop Single-Cell Analysis Platform

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Celldom said today that it has received a $1.5 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Celldom will use the award, administered by National Institute of General Medical Sciences, to advance the next generation of its high-throughput single cell analysis platform to analyze heterogeneity in cell populations for research and drug discovery.

Celldom's platform consists of hardware for image-based, phenotypic analysis that adapt to standard high-resolution microscopes; single-use DNA-barcoded microfluidic chips containing thousands of "apartments" for isolating and perturbing single cells; and cloud-based software analytics.

"Heterogeneity within cell populations is emerging as an area of intense research interest, based on advances in understanding the … diversity of phenotypic, genetic, and biochemical responses of individual cells within complex cell populations," Celldom Cofounder, President, and CEO Zachary Forbes said in a statement.

According to Forbes, the firm has designed the tool to solve three needs in single-cell analysis, including reaching scale sufficient enough to detect rarely occurring cells, automating integrated image-base phenotyping, and conducting high-resolution genomic analyses.

Celldom said that the platform will be able to quickly examine the mechanisms of underlying differences in cell response to drugs or other stimuli.

The Phase II award follows a successful Phase I grant, where the firm successfully showed the tool's ability to efficiently organize tens of thousands of single cells on a standard cell culture plate and track clone cell growth rate over time.

"Our system has great potential to rapidly test for drug-resistant cells and provide insights towards developing therapeutics that target resistance mechanisms," Kris Wood, a Celldom cofounder and Duke assistant professor of cancer biology, said in a statement.