You are here

A universal droplet microfluidic platform for ultrahigh-throughput biocatalyst evolution

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R42GM143989-02
Agency Tracking Number: R42GM143989
Amount: $837,842.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 400
Solicitation Number: PA21-262
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-09-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-08-31
Small Business Information
Daly City, CA 94015-4714
United States
DUNS: 117062937
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (617) 620-2999
Business Contact
Phone: (617) 620-2999
Research Institution
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94143-2510
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The advance of biotechnology is dependent on approaches for rapidly iterating through genetically engineered
enzymes and pathways. While computational and gene synthesis techniques have seen considerable
innovation in the last few decades, screening variants for desired activities has lagged behind, with few notable
advances. Indeed, microwell plates, a nearly 60-year-old technology, remain the dominant tool. The objective
of Fluid Discovery is to transform this field by introducing a novel screening paradigm based on precision
nanoliter fluid handling; this groundbreaking approach will increase the scale of screens that can be performed
by 100x while driving down costs. In addition to a fundamentally new hardware architecture for scalable
screening, our approach implements label-free mass spectrometry and computational techniques to enable
discovery of unanticipated enzyme activities and enhancements. Fluid Discovery is founded by the inventor of
the key technologies and, thus, is in a prime position to advance this space and become a commercial
success. This grant will fuel the development of the first alpha prototype that can be run by early access
customers, to illustrate the utility of the technology, its appropriateness for industrial research and
development, and its maturity for the market; all of which will be necessary to raise private funding for
commercial scale up. Our team includes experts in pharmaceutical development (Dr. Prince),
commercialization (Dr. Sunkara), and science and technology (Dr. Abate). This team has a demonstrated track
record of commercial success, having built companies with current value andgt;$1 billion. Fluid Discovery’s
technology will allow engineering campaigns infeasible with today’s technology at a price point accessible to
biotech startups and academic research labs, and with transformative efficiencies attractive to Big Pharma.Narrative
The objective of this grant is to fuel the development of an innovative nanoliter screening technology. This
platform will increase, by orders of magnitude, the scale of screens that can be performed to enable efficient
directed evolution of novel biocatalysts.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government