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Ceres Receives $746K From Gates Foundation To Use Novel Nanotrap® to Develop TB Urine Test

Monday, June 29, 2015  
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Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. (Ceres) began a development program, through $746K in funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to use Ceres’ Nanotrap® particle technology to develop a new method of diagnosing active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) using urine samples from TB patients. During the 9 month performance of this program, Ceres will work in close collaboration with leading TB experts from George Mason University, Johns Hopkins University, Colorado University, and Colorado State University, to demonstrate the ability of the Nanotrap® to enable a highly sensitive rapid test for TB in urine.

Ceres, a biotechnology company located in northern Virginia, has developed and commercialized a novel nanoparticle technology, the “Nanotrap®”, which provides powerful biofluid sample processing capabilities for a wide array of diagnostic applications and sample handling needs.

The Nanotrap technology was invented at George Mason University under funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for biomarker discovery applications, and currently is being developed into commercial products by Ceres with support from NIH, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“Existing, commercially available TB tests are limited in their ability to detect TB effectively from urine –they just aren’t sensitive enough. Our goal is to increase the sensitivity 10-100 times, by using the Nanotrap, and integrate into a simple, user-friendly, test format – like a pregnancy test. This will enable rapid identification of infected individuals without requiring highly-trained personnel”, said Ben Lepene, Chief Operating Officer and Director of R&D for Ceres.

“The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tuberculosis kills 1.8 million people annually. TB is treatable, if it can be detected in time, thus a reliable and highly sensitive point-of care test for active pulmonary tuberculosis will be a game changer for disease control.”, said Dr. Lance Liotta, Co-Director of the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at George Mason University and co-founder of Ceres.

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