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Whispering Gallery Mode Devices for the Rapid Detection of Pan-Filoviruses

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI152745-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI152745
Amount: $591,784.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA19-270
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-07-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-06-30
Small Business Information
Gaithersburg, MD 20878-1757
United States
DUNS: 601000750
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (240) 778-6523
Business Contact
Phone: (301) 644-3910
Research Institution
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63130-4862
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Project Summary
Filoviruses, including the Ebola viruses, Marburg viruses, and Cueva virus, are a class of pathogens with
enormous health implications. Filoviruses have been implicated in numerous outbreaks in Africa, including the
ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), potential risk as an agent of bioterrorism, and the
potential risk of transmission to non-endemic countries such as the United States. Critical in both the
management of outbreaks as well as the treatment of infected patients are specific and rapid diagnostic tests.
Despite the critical health risk posed by these pathogens, current diagnostic techniques utilizing PCR and
ELISAs have significant limitations, including the need for centralized laboratories, cold-chain custody, and
limited diagnostic ability in the early stages of infection. This proposal seeks to fill this gap and leverage a highly
sensitive class of optical sensors, whispering gallery mode (WGM) devices, for the rapid detection of filovirus
glycoproteins (GP) and the ebolavirus soluble glycoprotein (sGP), two highly sensitive biomarkers for filoviruses.
WGM sensors are a unique class of optical devices in which light is confined to a small volume, therefore leading
to an enormous enhancement in signal response. In addition to their sensitivity, these devices also offer the
advantages of inexpensive and scalable fabrication costs, the ability to be integrated with conventional
electronics, and the potential for multiplexed measurements. In combination with these devices will be antibodies
against filovirus GP and sGP, the latter an enormously powerful sentinel biomarker that is positive hours to days
before presentation of symptoms in infected individuals. This academic-industry partnership will develop a rapid
and sensitive diagnostic test for filovirus GP and sGP, and subsequently lay the foundation for the developing
this technology into a powerful, field-deployable device for filovirus detection.Filoviruses are among the deadliest pathogens known to humans. The Ebola virus disease outbreak in
West Africa (2014-2016), caused by the Zaire Ebola virus, resulted in over 28,000 cases and 11,000
deaths. In addition to Ebola virus, a related filovirus called Marburg has caused five outbreaks in the past
10 years with high fatality rates. This proposal is aimed at developing a diagnostic test using a novel
technology called Whispering Gallery Mode Device. The project, if successful, will allow early and rapid
diagnosis of filovirus infection in patients.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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