Biomatrica has been awarded $1 million for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II grant to build the blueprint and functional prototype for an ambient temperature biobank for the US Army. The fully implemented biobank will have the capacity to store biological samples from 1 million service members, making it the largest biobank of its kind in the world.
The biobank will hold samples of DNA and RNA extracted from the blood of each donor, providing access to genetic data for improved treatment of US military service members worldwide. The biobank will be organized in modular units to facilitate global deployment. According to Judy Muller-Cohn, CEO, “Full automation, from DNA and RNA extraction, to storage, archiving and retrieval, will enable a highly efficient workflow capable of processing hundreds of samples per day.”
Rolf Muller, President and Chief Scientific Officer, said, “We are very pleased that Biomatrica has the opportunity to utilize its ambient biostabilization technology to develop this unique biobank for the health and welfare of the men and women serving in our armed forces.”
The most distinctive feature of the biobank is its ambient temperature biostabilization technology. Developed over many years by Biomatrica, this technology has resulted in successful commercialization of several products for the biobanking, research, diagnostics and forensic markets. Many of these products will be utilized in the operation of the new Army biobank. These include the stabilization reagents, RNAgard® Blood, DNAgard® Saliva, RNAstable® and DNAstable® Plus. Also, the samples will be maintained in the company’s ambient temperature dry storage cabinets, and data management will be controlled with Biomatrica’s laboratory information system, SampleWare®.