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Biomatrica Inks CRADA with USAMRIID for Room-Temp Sample Management

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Biomatrica said today that it has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases to develop methods and kits for managing clinical and biological samples at room temperature.

Under the agreement, Biomatrica and USAMRIID will collaborate to develop, test, validate, and eventually commercialize new formulations designed to stabilize clinical samples and biological agents at ambient conditions.

Current systems that rely on temperature-controlled supply chains are costly and can have significant logistical challenges on the battlefield, creating a need to store and preserve these materials at ambient conditions without frozen sample shipping and storage, Biomatrica said.

The organizations initiated the CRADA agreement after first investigating stabilization reagents developed at Biomatrica and identifying promising biological sample stabilizers with the potential for improving diagnostic capabilities.

The collaboration is now extended to cover new and novel formulations being developed at Biomatrica that will support scientific research of benefit to the US military, the company said.

"We are very excited to see the application and use of our technologies within the US military and are looking forward to getting some of these new technologies commercialized for broader use in clinical and diagnostic research that also has an immediate benefit to molecular diagnostics and the field of personalized medicine," Rolf Muller, president and CSO of Biomatrica and a co-PI on the CRADA project, said in a statement.

Biomatrica's SampleMatrix stabilization technology enables samples to be stored outside cold environments while preserving their integrity. The core technology uses a phenomenon called anhydrobiosis as part of a synthetic, chemistry-based stabilization method that forms a thermostable barrier around a sample to provide protection against degradation and loss of biological activity.

In June, San Diego-based Biomatrica said that it is collaborating with SAIC-Frederick to develop improved methods of isolating nucleic acids from tumor samples for cancer research applications and targeted therapy development (PCR Insider 6/2/11). SAIC-Frederick, a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corporation, is the operations and technical support contractor for the National Cancer Institute's laboratory in Frederick, and facilitates partnerships for the Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative.

Also, in February, In-Q-Tel said that it is investing an undisclosed amount in Biomatrica to support development of a platform incorporating Biomatrica's technology for US intelligence applications (PCR Insider 2/24/11). IQT is an independent strategic investment firm that identifies technologies to support US intelligence efforts.

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