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Molecular Staging Wins SBIR Grant to Detect Papillomavirus DNA

NEW YORK, Oct. 9 - Molecular Staging has won a Small Business Innovative
Research grant to help it develop its Rolling Circle amplification technology as a test for the human Papillomavirus, the company said on Tuesday.

Molecular Staging plans to use the grant to analyze individual cervical cells for the presence of viral DNA. According to Molecular Staging, analyzing individual cells “could distinguish between transient benign infections and cells that are progressing to cancer.”

“The goal is to help clarify ambiguous cytology results and better identify women who are at risk of developing cervical cancer,” the New Haven, Conn.-based company said in a statement.

According to a Molecular Staging spokesman, this allotment represents the phase I portion of a SBIR grant, which is targeted to feasibility studies.

Phase II, with a maximum award of $900,000 for a period of up to two years,
is used to expand results from the first phase.

“During this time, developmental work is performed and MSI will evaluate the commercialization potential,” the spokesman said.

HPV, a highly prevalent sexually transmitted disease, is linked to cervical cancer.

The Rolling Circle technology is a proprietary isothermal amplification process that detects and measures protein, DNA, and RNA.

Molecular Staging said that it plans to use the technology to test for the virus’ DNA concurrently with standard Pap tests.

In September, the company was awarded nine patents for its Rolling Circle technology. The patents—six in the US, one in Europe, and two in Australia—cover the use of the technology in life science research and diagnostic products.

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