TOOLS FOR GENE-EXPRESSION STUDIES OF MALARIA
Department of Health and Human Services
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Small Business Information
2810 MERIDIAN PKY, STE 152, DURHAM, NC, 27713
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractDESCRIPTION (Verbatim from Applicant's Abstract): A child dies of malaria every twelve seconds. Hundreds of millions of all ages are infected annually. If carried out aggressively, new initiatives for preventing and treating malaria could soon save the lives of one-fourth of those children and could reduce the suffering of millions - and could also eliminate the threat of renewed outbreaks in temperate regions (including the U.S.). In support of those initiatives, AndCare is proposing an expanded (12-month) SBIR-AT-NIAID Phase I project to develop and apply in human studies innovative, highly sensitive nucleic acid electrochemical sensor-array technology to determine pathogen gene expression in human malarias. The goals are to develop new sensors and sensor arrays in a microtiter-plate format for direct, quantitative measurement of malarial gene expression in multiple samples, and to demonstrate the utility of the sensor arrays for gene-expression studies of human malaria. The main focus is on developing advanced molecular tools for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases. Substantial Phase I work will address the need for high sensitivity, innovative plate and instrument design, and performance evaluation to establish system feasibility - with a focus on malaria as a model that illustrates the power and sensitivity of this new tool for infectious-disease research. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: When scientists can measure expression of genes that are unique to a stage of growth of a particular microbe, drugs can be targeted to these genes or the products of these genes can be incorporated into experimental vaccines. Success in this project will provide essential new tools for efficient, economical, high-throughput gene-expression analysis to make this process of drug targeting and vaccine development much more rapid and cost-effective. The market that this technology ultimately will address is clearly a segment representing tens of millions annually within a drug-discovery market that totals some $5 billion.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.