Rockland Immunochemicals Awarded Phase I SBIR Funding to Develop Akt/mTOR Signaling Pharmacodynamics Assay

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Rockland Immunochemicals Inc., a biotechnology company focusing on antibodies and antibody based tools for basic research, assay development and preclinical studies, today announced that it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a pharmacodynamic assay to monitor the Akt/mTOR signaling pathway.

Faulty or aberrant activation of Akt underlies the pathophysiological properties of a variety of complex diseases, including type-2 diabetes, HIV and cancer. When constitutively activated, AKT is frequently utilized by cancer to circumvent therapeutic intervention, promoting cellular survival as well as resistance chemotherapy and radiation therapy. With the successful development of assays that monitor levels of Akt as well as Akt isoforms Akt pS473, Akt pT308, Akt2 and Akt3 pre and post treatment, tailored therapies are possible.

“This Phase I SBIR award validates Rockland’s antibody technology platform,” commented Jim Fendrick, President of Rockland Immunochemicals. “We anticipate that the assay developed using funds from the SBIR grant will be suitable and useful against a wide range of cancer cells, providing researchers with a robust tool to monitor Akt activity both in basic cancer research and in the context of pharmacodynamic drug studies.”

Rockland’s new Akt assay will address the issues of monitoring Akt activation, measuring total Akt as well as levels of both major forms of phosphorylated Akt at THR308 or SER473, and allow for the calculation of minimal drug inhibiting concentration (IC50) for cancer cells in the presence of mTOR/Akt pathway inhibitors.

About Rockland Immunochemicals

Rockland Immunochemicals has supported the biopharma and diagnostic industries for over 40 years with antibodies and antibody based tools™ for basic research, assay development, and preclinical studies. With manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania, Rockland produces over 10000 products designed for western blotting, immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence microscopy, ELISA and FLOW cytometry. More information about Rockland Immunochemicals and their products and services can be found at the company’s web site at


Rockland Immunochemicals Inc.
Tabitha Patrick
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Pennsylvania

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Technology  Other Technology  Health  Biotechnology  Oncology  Pharmaceutical  Research  Science