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Home Company News & Events Press Releases 2015 National Cancer Institute Awards SBIR Phase I Grant to PharmaSeq for in vitro Diagnostics

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National Cancer Institute Awards SBIR Phase I Grant to PharmaSeq for in vitro Diagnostics

Monmouth Junction, NJ, May 1, 2015. PharmaSeq, Inc., announced today the receipt of a Phase I SBIR grant for a project titled "Sequence-specific detection of proteases using electronic p-Chips in multiplex format.” The grant was awarded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

The grant’s objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of combining novel cancer testing using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) with p-Chips® to create an assay for detecting and monitoring bladder cancer (BICa) using urine samples. The assay will target a family of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and hyaluronidase (HA-ase), because the presence and relative distribution of these enzyme markers is strongly correlated with progression of BlCa. The principle of the assay involves the preparation of substrates dual-labeled with fluorescent dyes and the determination of the rate at which they are cleaved by MMPs or HA-ase present in a sample. This will be done by measuring the extent of FRET between the two fluorescent moieties linked through the target substrates for each respective MMP or HA-ase. 

To differentiate between sequences, each substrate will be immobilized on different p-Chips, PharmaSeq’s ultra-small integrated circuits with unique serial numbers. Each p-Chip’s distinctive identification number (ID) is transmitted when the p-Chip is illuminated with laser light. The association of a specific substrate with an ID allows construction of a p-Chip-mounted library in which the identity of a target can be determined by the ID of the p-Chip on which it resides. Multiple p-Chips carrying different substrates for different enzymes can be mixed together in a single assay (“multiplexing”). Results are derived by sequentially measuring the fluorescence and obtaining the ID of each p-Chip in the assay.

“Prior studies strongly suggest that the ability to detect and monitor matrix metalloproteases and hyaluronidase could be of great value in bladder cancer diagnostics,” states Wlodek Mandecki, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of PharmaSeq. Dr. Mandecki adds, “The use of PharmaSeq’s technology to construct a FRET-based assay is the first demonstration of the power of the p-Chip platform to construct multiplex enzymatic assays. We believe that this technique will eventually expand to other diagnostic tests.”

Some of the work will be performed in collaboration with Rafal Fudala, Ph.D., in the Department of Cell Biology and Immunology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Dr. Fudala will characterize p-Chip properties using specialized nanoimaging, demonstrate the enzyme assays and determine the sensitivity of detection.

For further information, please contact Richard G. Morris, Ph.D., CEO, or Dr. Mandecki at (732) 355-0100 ext. 11. Find us on the web at www.pharmaseq.com.

PharmaSeq, Inc.
11 Deer Park Drive, Suite 104
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852

 


Home Company News & Events Press Releases 2015 National Cancer Institute Awards SBIR Phase I Grant to PharmaSeq for in vitro Diagnostics