NIH grants over $3.8 million to Asuragen

Asuragen, Inc. announced today that it has received over $3.8 million in new grant funding for 2009 from the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funded initiatives of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further its development of molecular diagnostics for oncology and genetic disease.

Phase I and Phase II SBIR/STTR funding will support the following key initiatives:

  • Performance of miRNA and RNA biomarker studies and development of diagnostic tests for a variety of cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, and melanoma
  • Expansion of multiplex diagnostic panels for testing of clinically relevant mutations in leukemia and other malignancies, and
  • Development of novel amplification technologies to enable diagnostic microarrays and reliable high-throughput detection of expanded tri-nucleotide repeats associated with Fragile X and related syndromes.

“Asuragen’s success is based on our commitment to innovation through cutting edge science. Our scientists rationally design projects with a strong scientific and clinical basis and these programs have subsequently led to products with significant clinical and commercial utility,” said Matt Winkler, Asuragen’s founder, CEO, and CSO. “The NIH grant mechanism allows us to push the technological envelope and develop products with ideal workflow that are readily adopted in the clinical laboratory.”

Since the Company was spun off from Ambion in 2006, Asuragen has received more than 20 NIH small business grants totaling approximately $12 million, mostly in the area of oncology diagnostics, miRNA, and innovative technologies to facilitate molecular diagnostic development and discovery. Asuragen has used this funding to develop and commercialize products ranging from nucleic acid isolation, detection and profiling technologies, to the first commercially available miRNA-based diagnostic test for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Rollie Carlson, President of Asuragen, stated, “Our success in receiving grants and translating them into commercial products reflects not only the strength of our technologies and the caliber of our scientific team, but also demonstrates the value of small business grant funding in helping bring innovative products into the market where they can make a difference in clinical diagnosis and overall human health.”

Source: Asuragen, Inc.


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