Pria Diagnostics and Vanderbilt University Begin Collaboration for Bioweapons Detection and Medical Diagnostics

Nov 11, 2004, 00:00 ET from Pria Diagnostics

    MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Pria Diagnostics and
 Vanderbilt University today announced a collaboration to combine Pria's
 miniaturized fluorescence reader with Vanderbilt's lab-on-chip diagnostic
 assays.  The collaboration is focused on developing products that rapidly
 detect immunofluorescent antigens in a handheld package.  Pria and Vanderbilt
 intend to use the combined technologies to achieve laboratory quality
 infectious disease testing, initially for specific applications in mobile
 bioweapons and emerging disease detection.
     "Vanderbilt has clearly differentiated itself as a world class research
 facility in the area of biological MEMS (microelectromechanical systems).
 Their extensive experience in using microfluidics to separate and label
 samples on a single assay fits ideally with our microfluorimeter," said Jason
 Pyle, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for Pria.  "The integration of their
 technology with our platform shows how fluorescence testing achieves
 diagnostic capabilities previously only available through a laboratory."
     Pria's microfluorimeter combines solid-state components, polymer optics
 and an integrated digital control system to replace the complex machinery used
 in current fluorescent detectors.  As a result, the platform is portable,
 lightweight and mechanically robust in a device that can be manufactured at
 low cost in high volume.  The microfluorimeter possesses the sensitivity and
 fidelity required in a wide range of fluorescent assays, including screening
 for chemical and biological weapons (CBW), chronic and infectious diseases and
 hazardous environmental conditions.
     John P. Wikswo, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Physiology,
 and Physics at Vanderbilt, will head the University's efforts through the
 Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education
 (VIIBRE).  VIIBRE is supported by DARPA, NIH, and the Whitaker Foundation.  "I
 am amazed at how well the Pria and VIIBRE technologies are meshing, and our
 rapid progress on prototype portable instruments for clinical diagnosis,
 biodefense, and toxin exposure," said Dr. Wikswo.
     Mobile microdiagnostic tests could quickly and efficiently provide
 critical information in a wide variety of military and medical environments.
 Pria's platform is small enough to be carried in the pocket or pack of
 soldiers in the field for real-time CBW screening of anthrax, cholera or
 smallpox.  Similarly, physicians could rapidly identify and diagnose emerging
 diseases, such as SARS, Ebola or West Nile virus, before outbreaks occur.
     About Pria Diagnostics:
     Pria Diagnostics is a privately held company specializing in miniaturized
 advanced medical diagnostics.  Pria uses the latest advances in microfluidics
 and florescence-based detection to offer a single unit diagnostic test capable
 of highly specific cellular analysis.  Adapted from medical research and
 military applications, the Company's innovative technology permits an
 integrated fully functional design that is highly durable, small, lightweight
 and low cost.  For more information, please visit
     About VIIBRE:
     The Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education
 was created in 2001 by a $5 million grant from the Vanderbilt University with
 the goal of establishing cross-disciplinary programs linking the Schools of
 Medicine, Engineering, and Arts & Science, with an emphasis on experimental
 systems biology.
      Ben Taylor
      Vice President Business Development
      Pria Diagnostics
      (650) 352-5202 x59

SOURCE Pria Diagnostics