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Akonni, CUBRC Win US Army Contract for Biothreat Detection Sample Prep

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Akonni Biosystems and non-profit research organization CUBRC have been awarded a $774,000 contract from the US Army to develop an automated sample-prep system for field-based biological threat-detection platforms, Akonni said today.

Under the contract, Akonni and CUBRC will develop a family of disposable, rapid, multi-analyte extraction and purification products using Akonni's TruTip technology for rapid solid-phase extraction of nucleic acids and proteins.

Akonni and CUBRC will also design, manufacture, and test prototype systems to automatically extract nucleic acid and protein from a single-source sample. According to Akonni, the new system will simplify nucleic acid and protein isolation by removing the majority of manual steps, thus providing a rapid, reliable, and standardized process for biological threat detection in the field.

Akonni's TruTip technology uses a nucleic acid-binding matrix in a pipette tip to extract and purify inhibitor-free DNA or RNA for downstream applications in as few as four minutes, according to the company. Akonni also recently developed the technology for protein purification.

"We selected Akonni's TruTip sample preparation technology based on its ability to be integrated into a cartridge-based system and its proven performance in terms of speed, yield, and quality as determined in head-to-head evaluations against the industry gold standards," CUBRC's David Pawlowski, principal investigator on the contract, said in a statement.

CUBRC, based in Buffalo, NY, conducts R&D and testing and systems integration programs in medical biotechnology; chemical and biological defense; data fusion; command and control; hypersonics; and public health and safety, according to the organization's website.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the US Army Research Office is administering the award.

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