Industry News: Ceres Nanosciences receives $243,000 CDC SBIR Phase I award to develop improved viral pathogen surveillance tools

30 Sep 2020


Ceres Nanosciences, a privately held company that makes innovative products to improve the detection of low abundance analytes, including viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, has received a $243,000 Phase I SBIR award from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ceres will use this award to adapt its Nanotrap® Virus Particles to enable a workflow that is inexpensive, easy-to-use, and rapid enough to integrate with portable RNA and DNA viral sequencing tools recently developed by the CDC and other organizations.

“Using Nanotrap® Virus Particles to capture and concentrate viral pathogens from samples, we can increase the amount of genomic material that goes into the sequencers by 10-fold,” said Ben Lepene, Ceres Nanosciences’ Chief Technology Officer. “This should, in turn, significantly improve the sensitivity of the portable pathogen sequencing workflows that are out there.”

Nanotrap® Virus Particles improve the detection of multiple strains of influenza, RSV, and coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and are being used in COVID-19 RT-PCR tests authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization.

“With this award from CDC and the recent contract awarded to Ceres by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Advanced Technology Platforms (RADx-ATP) program to increase SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity in the United States, Ceres is going to help lead the nation out of the current pandemic and is going to build the tools to help avoid the next one,” said Robbie Barbero, Ceres Nanosciences Chief Business Officer.

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