NEW YORK – Ceres Nanosciences said on Thursday that it has received $1.4 million in new funding from the National Institutes of Health RADx initiative to expand a network of wastewater-based epidemiology centers of excellence that was established with $8.2 million in prior RADx funding.
With the new award, Manassas, Virginia-based Ceres will identify and establish five new centers of excellence to join the existing network of 16 sites comprising public health labs, nonprofit labs, university labs, and commercial testing labs in 14 states. Ceres said that it will also support the verification of SARS-CoV-2 genotyping from wastewater samples and the addition of this capacity to a subset of the centers of excellence.
Each new center of excellence will receive materials and on-site training to implement an automated protocol using Ceres Nanotrap particle technology, enabling the same-day delivery of wastewater testing results for more than 100 samples per day, the company said. Extracted nucleic acids from this protocol are compatible with multiple nucleic acid detection methods, including reverse transcription (RT)-qPCR, RT-Droplet Digital PCR, RT digital PCR, and genomic sequencing.
All centers in the network are expected to share data and results with local, state, tribal, and federal public health decision-makers and to participate in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Wastewater Surveillance System. The new centers will be selected based on their ability to use the expanded testing capacity to extend services into underserved communities and to balance the geographic reach of the network, Ceres said.