ROCHESTER, NY: Adarza BioSystems, Inc. has been awarded a $1.8 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to aid the company in its efforts to apply its breakthrough Arrayed Imaging Reflectometry (AIRTM) bioassay platform for the detection of blood proteins indicative of an individual’s physiological reaction to environmental toxins such as airborne particulate matter. The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. “Adarza BioSystems’ award is a strong indication of the potential seen by the NIEHS for Adarza’s AIRTM platform as a field deployable solution for population studies involving particulate matter exposure assessment,” says Christopher Striemer,VP for Engineering.
Airborne particulate matter derived from a variety of natural sources (e.g. volcanic activity, forest fires, etc.) is pervasive, however, human activity since the industrial revolution and the advent of the internal combustion engine has substantially increased the concentration of particulates, particularly in urban areas. Human derived particulate matter tends to be of smaller size, facilitating entry into the body through the respiratory and digestive tracts, as well as through the skin. It also tends to contain chemicals with greater toxicity than its natural counterparts. The explosive growth of nanotechnology in research and consumer products (e.g. sunscreens, cosmetics, paint, etc.) is also creating an array of ultrafine materials with largely unknown health effects. Despite numerous studies implicating particulate matter in various disorders including acute respiratory infections, lung cancer, and chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, the specific biological mechanisms involved are not fully understood.
“This substantial Phase II project will leverage Adarza BioSystems’ proprietary AIRTM biosensing platform to build a device capable of rapidly capturing a detailed response profile to particulate exposure by profiling key marker proteins (potentially multiplexing >100 analytes) in conveniently available biosamples such as a finger pick of blood, urine, mucous, saliva, etc. Currently, such testing takes hours and is often done with individual singleplex tests. AIRTM is capable of sensitive and simultaneous protein detection with a device that is currently the size of a laptop computer. The goal of this project is to develop a field deployable AIRTM system, consisting of a disposable assay cartridge and a reader instrument to enable researchers to conduct fieldwork in unpredictable and unprotected environments. The system would then be tested using a bank of samples from a particulate matter study at the University of Rochester.
Adarza’s AIRTM bioassay platform is in the development stage as an investigational device and is not available for sale in the United States. The company is in the process of validating its bioassay platform, and intends to have devices available for the research market in a few years.
Adarza is an early stage biosensor technology product and service company headquartered in Rochester, New York. Founded in 2008, Adarza’s biosensor products and assay services will first be available to academic and clinical researchers.
About Adarza BioSytems, Inc. Adarza’s products and services utilize its proprietary Arrayed Imaging Reflectometry (AIRTM) detection platform that is capable of rapidly identifying and quantifying a series of biological target analyte species in a fluid sample, without chemical labels or complex assays. The AIR technology offers key performance benefits in sensitivity, speed, multiplex arrays, sample size, dynamic range, ease of use and industry leading low cost of use. Adarza products address broad quantitative analyte detection applications, including cancer, drug and vaccine development, allergy, immunology and infectious diseases research. Adarza also sells biosensor devices for applications in surveillance and monitoring human exposure to harmful agents in public health, industrial, environmental, defense and homeland security.