Althea Technologies, Inc. and Blueshift Biotechnologies have announced that Althea has received a SBIR award from the National Human Genome Research Institute to explore the potential for practical high throughput and low cost gene expression analysis.
The grant proposes the development of gene expression profiling methods that make use of Althea's proprietary strength in multiplexed PCR methods and Blueshift's IsoCyte™ platform, a high throughput laser scanner adapted from semiconductor inspection technology.
The combined technologies may enable implementation of quantitative gene expression profiling in an automated high throughput platform, providing highly specific and quantitative results for as many as 768 samples per minute.
"This kind of throughput," stated Dr. Joseph Monforte, Althea's Chief Scientific Officer, "provides an opportunity to broadly introduce gene expression profiling into compound library screening. Because complex diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases impact many genes, it will be critical to study the treatment responses of dozens of genes in detail to fully assess and differentiate drug candidates in an economical manner.”
“The combination of multiplexed gene expression and sophisticated scanning instrumentation may provide a novel system that delivers quantitative data on dozens of genes in a truly high throughput manner," Monforte continued.
"We are excited to be working with Althea on this project", stated Dr. Evan Cromwell, President and CEO of Blueshift Biotechnologies.
"Our IsoCyte scanner is an ideal platform for the development of a variety of high content screening applications. Given the IsoCyte's resolution, color multiplexing, and high throughput capabilities, this represents a wonderful opportunity for extending the use of our platform into high throughput genetic analysis," he said.