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Rapid, High Throughput Epigenetic Assay for Whole Blood PTSD Genes

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W81XWH-20-P-0023
Agency Tracking Number: A19B-013-0097
Amount: $166,499.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: A19B-T013
Solicitation Number: 19.B
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-01-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-08-12
Small Business Information
301 1st Street SW Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011
United States
DUNS: 627132913
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Judy Obliosca
 Principal Investigator
 (434) 483-4243
Business Contact
 Michael Pruzan
Phone: (540) 769-8430
Research Institution
 Emory University
 Cassandra Murphy Cassandra Murphy
201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

 (404) 727-2503
 Nonprofit College or University

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a forefront of public health concern as the problem is especially acute among war veterans. The current treatment methods for PTSD mainly consist of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy, however, these are still not very effective considering drug use disorders and suicide. Epigenetics, in particular, DNA methylation has been known to show a significant role in the pathophysiology of PTSD. Current assays for DNA methylation such as bisultfite-, pyro- and nanopore-based sequencing and immunoprecipitation techniques are often laborious, involve the use of multiple instruments, require specialized training, have massive analysis workflow and high error rates. Strategies that allow rapid identification of risk, diagnostic, prognostic, monitoring and predictive biomarkers such as methylated genes associated with PTSD are highly desired. Luna aims to develop an epigenetic assay to translate nanoplasmonic biosensing array technology to its practical use in monitoring a panel of methlated gene biomarkers in whole blood samples from patients with PTSD. Luna’s assay has superiority over existing technologies because of its label-free nature, purification-free, highly sensitive, real-time monitoring and rapid multiplexing capability with minimal analytics that would be extremely valuable in clinical practice for PTSD diagnosis and treatment.

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

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