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NIAMS Offers SBIR Funds for Multiplex Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases plans to fund $100,000 for phase I and $750,000 for phase II Small Business Innovation Research grants to companies seeking to develop multiplex diagnostic tests that could apply to a variety of diseases.

NIAMS wants to fund projects that will develop multiplex assay methodologies for candidate biomarkers for musculoskeletal, rheumatic, and skin diseases.

The phase I grants, which will fund initial development and feasibility testing, will cover up to a six-month period. The phase II grants will cover research that will focus on completing development of the technology over a two-year period.

The assay technologies NIAMS wants to support would "enable accurate measurement of multiple candidate biomarkers in small volumes of blood or other body fluid or small biopsies".

These technologies are sought because many of the diseases that NIAMS investigates "are chronic and very complex in nature," the institute said in a request for applications. Because some of these diseases develop and progress slowly, there are a spectra of biological markers circulating in the blood, but resources to evaluate these markers are in limited supply, it said.

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