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Lucigen Receives Two SBIR Grants for $350K

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Lucigen today announced it recently has been awarded two grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling $350,000 for the development of new RNA-seq methods and the development of a tool for correlating genomic and proteomic data.

One Small Business Innovation Research grant for $150,000 is from the National Human Genome Research Institute and will go toward the development of a "simple protocol for cDNA library synthesis that is flexible for all of the major [next-generation sequencing] platforms," according to the grant's abstract. The technology will be based on Lucigen's PyroScript RT enzymes for improving the accuracy of RNA sequence analysis.

The project goal is to develop a reagent for use by large and small laboratories to "advance the knowledge of transcriptome diversity through a more accurate and unbiased sequence database."

The second SBIR grant for $199,185 is also from NHGRI and will be used by Lucigen to develop a tool "for correlating genomic and proteomic data from individual cells using droplet-based microfluidic technology," the company said in the grant abstract.

Lucigen is creating a handheld device in partnership with Auburn University that requires no electrical connections or instrumentation "but will allow for the formation of precisely controlled droplets, enabling massively parallel arrays of bioreactors suitable for enzyme screening, directed evolution, emulsion PCR of large DNA fragments, single-cell high throughput screening, and numerous other applications," it said.

Another goal is to use the technology to discover novel thermostable viral replisomes de novo "by their ability to auto amplify large operons containing their genes."

David Mead, founder and CEO of Lucigen, said in a statement that the two grants will "enable Lucigen to leverage its core strengths in cloning and genomic research in order to empower genetic researchers worldwide."

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