Aptamer-Based Point-Of-Care Tests for Opioids, to Rapidly Diagnose Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
PEARLAND, Texas, Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Base Pair Biotechnologies, Inc., the Aptamer Discovery Company™, announced today the receipt of a Fast Track Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health. The grant will be used to develop a new platform to detect opioids and their primary metabolites in newborns. Exposure in utero causes addiction, which, upon birth results in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome -- severe withdrawal. >2% of the four million babies per year born in the United States (U.S.) are known to be affected; the actual number is likely higher. Diagnosis immediately after birth will enable rapid treatment. Today's process involves testing only if symptoms develop prior to release from hospital or birthing center – resulting in readmission to the neonatal intensive care unit, plus medical complications.
"The economic burden of the U.S. opioid epidemic exceeds $80B/year, but too few people are aware of these innocent victims," said Vicki Singer, President & CEO of Base Pair. "Over 80,000 newborns/year are affected, increasing newborn hospital stays eight-fold and costs twenty-fold; causing unnecessary pain and suffering."
Aptamers are small, single-stranded DNA or RNA molecules that are identified and manufactured in vitro, which fold into shapes that fit their targets, the way a key fits a lock. "Base Pair's patented method for multiplexing the aptamer discovery process allows the company to identify aptamers for dozens of targets at the same time," said Bill Jackson, Founder & Chief Scientist. "While it's difficult for antibodies to distinguish between closely related small molecule drugs, we tailor selection to identify the specific aptamers we want to isolate."
About Base Pair Biotechnologies
Base Pair is an angel-backed aptamer discovery company located near Houston, close to major medical centers. Its mission is to make a lasting difference in the world, creating novel affinity agents that empower healthcare and protect the planet. The Company has extensive expertise in developing aptamers that recognize small molecules but also has been successful with protein, viral and cellular targets. Base Pair utilizes a highly consultative service model, leveraging a breadth of technical capability and commercial experience to meet its customers' needs. For more information, contact Dr. Vicki Singer, President & CEO, (832) 230-5518, email [email protected] or visit www.basepairbio.com.
SOURCE Base Pair Biotechnologies, Inc.