Pressure BioSciences Awarded $1,000,000 NIH Grant
News Feb 20, 2015
Pressure BioSciences, Inc. has been awarded a $1,020,969 SBIR Phase II grant (2R44HG007136) from the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health ("NIH"). Entitled "High Pressure Sample Preparation Instrumentation for DNA Sequencing", this grant will help fund the development of an automated, high-throughput, high pressure system (instrument and consumables), to enable significantly better control of DNA fragmentation - a critical step in the preparation of samples for Next Generation Sequencing platforms. This system will be based on significant technological advancements over the classic hydrodynamic DNA shearing approach that has been successfully and widely used in the field of DNA sequencing for many years.
Next Generation Sequencing ("NGS") describes a number of modern, high-throughput technologies that allow scientists to sequence ("determine the exact order of") the nucleotide building blocks of DNA and RNA, far faster and with greater precision than ever before. NGS is one of the fastest growing segments in the life sciences arena: it has not only revolutionized the study of genomics and molecular biology, but it offers the promise of enabling significant discoveries and improvements in human healthcare, including the burgeoning field of personalized medicine (now referred to as "Precision Medicine"). According to the company ResearchandMarkets, the global NGS market could reach $8.7B by 2020.
Dr. Nate Lawrence, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for PBI, said: "Our patented pressure cycling technology ("PCT") and our other high pressure-based platforms offer many of the same important benefits to researchers in the genomics field as they do to those in the field of proteomics. On July 22, 2014, we announced a plan to develop a front-end sample preparation system for Parabase Genomics' targeted NGS testing platform. Over the past year, we have been in early discussions with other NGS companies over the possibility of using our unique, high pressure platforms in their sample preparation work flow. We believe the work supported by this grant could accelerate the development of the Parabase Genomics' platform, enable more extensive and fruitful discussions with other NGS companies, and result in significantly more revenue through an expanded line of high pressure-based instruments and consumables for the genomics field."
Mr. Richard T. Schumacher, President and CEO of PBI, stated: "This grant award is very important and timely for PBI. It provides over $1 million in non-dilutive funding, payable over two years, to support the development of a high pressure - based system for the preparation of samples for DNA analysis by NGS methods. Entry into the NGS market has always been part of our growth plan, as we believe this market is highly complementary to our existing presence and core competency in the protein biomarker discovery field. With this award, we can now accelerate our plans to enter what we believe to be a very large, rapidly growing, and potentially fruitful marketplace, with minimal cost to our Company."
Mr. Schumacher continued: "We also believe strongly that this new SBIR Phase II grant award, when combined with other grants we have been awarded over the past few years, provides compelling third-party confirmation of the power of our patented PCT and our other high pressure platforms, and of our planned growth in both the genomic and proteomic markets."
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University say neural networks and supervised machine learning techniques can efficiently characterize cells that have been studied using single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq). This finding could help researchers identify new cell subtypes and differentiate between healthy and diseased cells.