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US Department of Defense Awards GeneCapture $1M Contract

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – GeneCapture announced today that it has received a two-year Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) contract for $1 million from the US Department of Defense to develop a desktop prototype that can be used to quickly identify pathogens considered dangerous to war combatants.

As part of the contract, GeneCapture will partner with Southern Research, a Birmingham, Alabama-based nonprofit, scientific research organization to develop the platform. Southern Research will provide expertise in infectious diseases, purifying genetic material for testing, and designing clinical trials for the US Food and Drug Administration.

GeneCapture's gene signature platform screens for several hundred pathogens using small cartridges, and can produce results from urine, saliva, or blood samples in less than an hour, the company said. The firm is currently developing a pre-manufacturing model of the platform for clinical studies.

GeneCapture Chief Scientist and principal investigator for the contract Paula Koelle will lead the effort to produce the disposable cartridges and desktop analyzer for a number of pathogens that may be potential biological threats.

"Our infectious disease scientists will produce reference tests and accelerate the clinical testing of GeneCapture's new platform," Southern Research CEO and President Art Tipton said in a statement.

"The GeneCapture team is working diligently to bring an affordable, portable solution to this critical problem by connecting with disease experts around the world to incorporate their needs into this product," GeneCapture CEO and Cofounder Peggy Sammon said in a statement.