Latest Grants to BioMedomics Total Nearly $200K
BioMedomics has added nearly $200,000 in federal and state grant money to its growing product-development coffers. The firm has landed a $120,000 U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant, enabling a State of North Carolina match of approximately $70,000. The two-year-old company develops hightech tools for research and clinical diagnoses. BioMedomics is part of the Hamner Institutes for Health Science’s Accelerator for Translational Bioscience. So far BioMedomics has received $1.2 million in federal, state
and private grant funding since its $25,000 loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in 2007. “We are very grateful for what that early Biotechnology Center support has enabled,” said Frank Wang, Ph.D., co-founder of the firm. “It positioned us for a series of follow-on grants that have, in turn, linked us with corporate partners for expanded market reach and codevelopment activity.” Six months after BioMedomics got its Biotechnology Center loan, the firm received its first of the coveted SBIR grants from the federal government – $100,000 from the Centers for Disease Control. The Phase I funding was followed by:
A state SBIR match of approximately $100,000.
A Phase II grant in 2008 from NIH of nearly $750,000.
A $45,000 grant from the North Carolina Innovative Development for Economic Advancement program in December.
“The NC IDEA grant was very helpful for us to move forward our product development,” said Wang, “and we have achieved some major milestones including optimizing our initial commercial diagnostic test and developing the production prototype test strip. And now these new Army and state grants have come in.” John Richert, vice president of the Biotechnology Center's Business and Technology Development Program, said the repeated interest in BioMedomics’ technologies reinforces the vetting process his group uses when awarding low-interest loans and other forms of support. “We’re really pleased to see BioMedomics continue to grow,” said Richert. “These are tough times for all businesses, but North Carolina has chosen well by investing for the past 25 years in biotechnology. It's made us the third-largest biotech state in the nation – and these kinds of companies give us much to be proud of.” Despite the company’s relative youth, it’s been fortunate to start selling products while using grant funding to develop more sophisticated, highvalue products. Early sales leaned heavily toward the research market, said Wang, “but newer products under development have a more direct impact on health care.” Wang said he can’t disclose too many details about the work his firm is doing for the Department of Defense. But he said it’s a device to detect biomarkers. “The Army has a tremendous need for multi-function, multiplexed, hand-held devices for soldiers to use in the battlefield. Without being too specific, I can say that BioMedomics will apply its proprietary technologies in immunoassay, novel nanoparticles and unique detection techniques for the development of a compact, point-of-care biomarker detection device.” BioMedomics’ unique testing platform and assay technologies will significantly improve current technologies’ detection sensitivity, he said. “Actually,” he said, “there are many broad applications for it, ranging from human and veterinary diagnostics to drug-abuse testing to drug discovery and development to food and environmental monitoring.” The Biotechnology Center is a private, non-profit corporation supported by the N.C. General Assembly. Its mission is to provide long-term economic and societal benefits to North Carolina by supporting biotechnology research, business, education and strategic policy statewide