BioMarker Strategies announced today that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has approved the first $1 million in Phase II funding for the company's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract to develop the SnapPath™ live tumor cell testing system. The company is developing the SnapPath™ system to better enable drug companies to stratify patients in clinical trials, as well as assist oncologists in determining the most effective targeted drug treatment for their cancer patients. Under this contract, the company is eligible to receive an additional $1 million in April of 2011, for a total potential contract award of $2.3 million.
“We are also eager to show the research and clinical potential of ex vivo diagnostics using our SnapPath™ system.”
"We are very pleased to receive this vote of confidence from the NCI that our live tumor cell testing system is a novel approach that is worthy of Phase II funding," said Kären Olson, CEO of BioMarker Strategies. "We are also eager to show the research and clinical potential of ex vivo diagnostics using our SnapPath™ system."
In the original contract award document, the NCI stated that the company's Fast Track SBIR proposal presented an "innovative" approach and instrument that was "extremely responsive" to the contract announcement.
The automated SnapPath™ live tumor cell testing system uses a comprehensive systems biology approach to enable ex vivo biomarker tests, known as a Functional Signaling Profile, to guide the development and use of targeted cancer therapeutics. SnapPath™ will automate the processing, sample preparation and testing of biopsies from patients with solid tumor-based cancers, such as breast, colon, lung and pancreatic cancer.
In addition to this NCI grant funding, the company has raised more than $4 million from private investors, including the Abell Foundation, to support the development of the SnapPath™ system. The company was also recently named one of the "Top 20 Most Promising Startups" in the United States by the editors of the Thomson-Reuters Venture Capital Journal, out of more than 1,200 companies considered. Earlier this year, the company doubled its lab space at the Johns Hopkins Science + Technology Park in East Baltimore.
SOURCE BioMarker Strategies