MicroRNAs are an emerging class of biomarkers that are proving to be important indicators for early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. The company will use the award to expand production capacity and validate its microRNA assay against the current state of the art. The goal of the Phase II studies is to develop a product providing a combination of performance, throughput and cost not available from existing solutions.
"We are excited to build upon promising results from Phase I," said Dr. Daniel Pregibon, Firefly co-founder and CTO, "and look forward to working with our academic and industry partners to develop innovative research tools in this important field." Firefly's core technology was developed in the laboratory of Prof. Patrick Doyle, in the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT, who said: "I am very excited to see an academic discovery from my lab being translated into a product which holds great promise for improving cancer research and diagnosis." Prof. Doyle is also a Firefly co-founder and chairs its Scientific Advisory Board.
"We are extremely grateful to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the National Cancer Institute for their continued support of our technology and vision," said Dr. Davide Marini, Firefly co-founder and CEO. "The SBIR program continues to provide a crucial source of energy to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which is at the heart of America's competitiveness."