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Rheonix Gets $1.5M NIH Grant to Commercialize POC HIV/AIDS Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Rheonix said today that it has received a $1.5 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to complete the development of a fully automated self-confirming assay to simultaneously detect HIV/AIDS antibodies and viral RNA in a single specimen.

The grant, being administered by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, follows the successful completion of a Phase I proof-of-concept grant worth $190,000 and awarded last year to Ithaca, NY-based Rheonix. The new funding will be used to achieve a commercial-ready test for use in the developing world, Rheonix said.

The assay will be performed on Rheonix's Chemistry and Reagent Device (CARD), a fully automated molecular testing system that performs sample extraction, purification, amplification, and detection. The company is designing the test to work with blood and saliva samples.

In collaboration with New York University, Rheonix completed its Phase I study by demonstrating that the CARD system was able to detect both antibodies against HIV and actual viral RNA in a fully automated manner.

"Being able to provide such a fully automated testing platform will allow resource-limited regions of world to have their first-ever opportunity to perform simultaneous serological testing and molecular confirmation of HIV," Richard Montagna, senior vice president for scientific and clinical affairs at Rheonix, said in a statement.