Lucigen Corporation Awarded $2.8M SBIR Grant for Point of Care Diagnostics
May 23, 2012 – Lucigen Corporation announced today that it has recently been awarded its largest SBIR Phase II grant to date to fund research and development of a point of care diagnostic test for influenza.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Lucigen a total of $2.8M in a Small Business Innovation Research grant to be used to develop a point of care (POC) diagnostic testing device for influenza A, B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Respiratory infections have a significant health and economic impact worldwide, and current test products for the diagnosis of respiratory viral infections such as influenza are inadequate for the timely diagnosis needed for successful implementation of antiviral treatment.
Unfortunately, a test product that can accurately diagnose common respiratory viruses with high confidence in less than 30 minutes directly at point of need has not yet been developed. This grant will facilitate Lucigen's development of an innovative device and reagents for the molecular diagnosis of multiple RNA pathogens that will set a new standard for rapid patient care. The combination of novel molecular technologies, simple protocol, and affordable multiplex testing capabilities residing in a single, inexpensive device will enable near point of care diagnostics for a number of serious infectious agents.
The key factor enabling this game changing technology is the development of a novel enzyme that converts RNA to DNA and isothermally amplifies it in minutes. These attributes have allowed the design of a device that does not use any microfluidics, pumps or valves, therefore greatly simplifying construction and significantly reducing the cost of the test. This new technology is ideal for low resource and battlefield settings, and has long term potential as an over the counter device.
"As a pioneer in cloning, enzyme discovery, and metagenomic studies, Lucigen is now set to leverage its previous breakthroughs into real-world healthcare applications. We plan the world's first nucleic acid-based test for viral infections that is cost-effective and can be safely and easily used directly at the physician's office, eliminating the need to send the sample off to central testing laboratories. DNA or RNA based tests have repeatedly shown greater sensitivity and specificity over commonly used "rapid" immunochemistry-based testing methods, but have not been simplified to the extent that they can be moved to a POC situation. Our solution has the potential to significantly advance sensitivity and time to results, thus improving patient treatment and outcomes." stated David Mead, Ph.D., founder and CEO.
About Lucigen Corporation
Located in Middleton, WI, Lucigen delivers advanced molecular biology products and services to life scientists by inventing solutions to the most difficult problems in DNA cloning, amplification, and protein expression.
With a focus on simplifying genomic research, Lucigen offers a wide selection of cloning kits, competent cells, and enzymes that enable scientists to quickly and easily complete even the most challenging molecular biology experiments. For more information about the firm and products, call 888-575-9695, email [email protected], or visit our website at www.lucigen.com.
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