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Aperiomics Receives SBIR Phase II Award, Nearly $1M in Grants for Year

Tuesday, September 22, 2015  
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Aperiomics has won its second award in a year through the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This new SBIR Phase II grant of nearly $737,000 follows earlier feasibility funding from the NSF through Phase I and Phase Ib grants intended to help early-stage companies fund research and development. With the new award, Aperiomics has received nearly $1 million in support from the NSF. The SBIR program aims to make entrepreneurial science companies more attractive to investors and to future strategic partners and customers by reducing risk.

Phase II awards are designed to allow companies to focus on scale and development in the process of bringing their product or service to market. For Aperiomics, the grant will mean further development of next-generation sequencing analytics for infectious diseases. The company combines genomics and informatics in an innovative way to produce faster and more accurate results than culture-based or even other molecular-based diagnostic approaches. This efficient system translates into improved human and livestock health, reduced risk to public health, and significant health care cost savings.

Their system not only finds the “needle in the haystack,” but also can reveal that “a needle” is lurking there – even if it is a formerly unknown pathogen.

In a climate of international concern about such public health threats as Ebola, influenza, and drug resistant infections, Aperiomics offers breakthrough capabilities in pathogen discovery. Their technology provides diagnoses in difficult cases of unknown etiology, pathogen surveillance, and monitoring of livestock and of natural animal populations, as well as more routine pathogen detection. It could be a life-saving tool for physicians who are forced by long lab processing times to rely on differential diagnoses while treating a critically ill patient and it could help prevent over-use of antibiotics as a provider tries various types in hopes that one will prove effective quickly enough. As Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour, PhD, observes, “The majority of pathogens are currently never identified; upwards of 75% go undiagnosed, leading to significant issues within public health.”

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