IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Antigen Discovery Inc. (ADi) today announced that it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The two-year $600,000 award will fund a collaborative research effort between ADi and the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at University of California, Irvine (UCI) to develop a fully integrated microfluidic immunodiagnostic platform. Threats from infectious disease have been growing at an alarming pace worldwide; there is a critical need for accurate, rapid, and readily deployable diagnostics during mass disasters, natural disease outbreaks, and bioterrorist threats. This joint effort will take advantage of a novel air-liquid cavity acoustic transducer (ALCAT) technology pioneered by Dr. Abraham Lee's group at UCI, and ADi's protein microarray technology and large library of serodiagnostic antigens from dozens of infectious disease targets. Dr. Xiaowu Liang, President and CEO of ADi, states that "the development of hand-held point-of-care (POC) diagnostics will meet a vital need as the portability, ease-of-use, and prompt sample-to-answer times allow first responders to effectively assess the prevalence and spread of exposure in a population during major outbreaks."
"We will design and build a microfluidic polymer-based chip that utilizes ALCAT which provides the fluid actuation required for complex reagent handling in multi-step colorimetric immunoassays," added Dr. Abraham Lee, Principle Investigator, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Micro/nano Fluidics Fundamentals Focus (MF3) Center at UCI. "ALCAT's versatility as a single actuation technology is an easier method for on-chip integration compared to other POC platforms that require a different actuator for each fluidic process. By incorporating novel ALCAT-based approaches into protein microarray assays, we will have the versatility and power to reduce enzymatic development times, limit production costs, and fully integrate all components into a disposable assay."
While ADi has received a number of SBIR/STTR awards in the past, this is the first time the company has received a grant for development of a medical device. "Thanks to support from the NIAID, we have been able to build a significant portfolio of diagnostic markers for a wide range of infectious agents," said Dr. Philip Felgner, Founder and Chairman of ADi. "We now plan to develop a point-of-care diagnostic system consisting of a cost-effective disposable microfluidic plastic chip and a portable analyzer that can be driven by a mobile computing device such as a smart phone for rapid serological evaluation of exposure and infections."
About Antigen Discovery Inc.
Antigen Discovery Inc. is a privately owned biotechnology company located in Irvine, California. ADi has a proprietary high throughput proteomics platform technology for biomarker discovery. The company uses and commercializes its innovative proteome microarrays and testing models to facilitate the development of new diagnostic tests, therapeutics and vaccines for infectious disease, autoimmunity, cancer and more. For more information about ADi, see http://www.antigendiscovery.com.
SOURCE Antigen Discovery Inc.