CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Quanterix Corporation, a company enabling a new generation of molecular diagnostic tests based on its revolutionary Single Molecule Array (SiMoA) technology, announced today that it has been awarded a one year $250,155 contract from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop an assay capable of detecting single molecules of botulinum toxin (BoNT) within complex environmental samples. In collaboration with the Botulinum Research Center (BRC) at UMass Dartmouth, Quanterix will develop and validate a high sensitivity assay capable of measuring extremely low levels of the BoNT agent.
"The detection of low copy numbers of toxins and pathogenic bacteria for both clinical and environmental applications requires highly sensitive and rapid detection technologies capable of measuring relevant targets within complex sample mixtures," said David Duffy, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at Quanterix. "The 1,000-fold increase in sensitivity enabled by SiMoA will facilitate the direct detection of the toxins produced by active bacteria at much lower levels than is possible today. As a result, the detection of BoNT protein will provide important functional information on the presence of bacteria that complements nucleic acid identification. We believe that this approach could be extended to other bacteria and applications, for example, hospital acquired infections."
Dr. David Hodge from DHS added, "Quanterix's technology is expected to address a number of challenges currently faced by DHS for identifying active agents of bioterrorism, and offers great promise for a variety of applications in both the private and public sectors."
"Early and accurate detection of botulinum toxin is critical for our national security and public health. The ability to detect extremely low levels of toxin could significantly improve the diagnosis of botulism and better protect humans in biomedical and bio-defense scenarios," said Dr. Bal Ram Singh, BRC Director, and a world leader in the research and detection of botulinum toxin.
Quanterix Corporation is developing its proprietary Single Molecule Array (SiMoA) technology for the in vitro diagnostics and life science research markets. The digital nature of SiMoA yields unprecedented assay performance, stemming from a 1,000-fold improvement in sensitivity compared with today's analog only technology. SiMoA will enable researchers in life science to validate novel, low abundance biomolecules from a single droplet of blood, leading to greater insight into disease detection, diagnosis, therapy selection and disease monitoring. Automated systems based on SiMoA will provide diagnostic test information to healthcare practitioners faster, with greater reliability, unprecedented range and increased cost effectiveness. Founded in 2007, the privately held Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is backed by leading life science investors including ARCH Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, and Flagship Ventures. For additional information, please visit www.quanterix.com.
The Botulinum Research Center (BRC) was established by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth under the leadership of Dr. Bal Ram Singh, professor of biophysical chemistry. BRC promotes research to create an understanding of the botulinum neurotoxins, their applications and the defenses against such toxins as biothreat agents. BRC was initiated as a national effort, in collaboration with many researchers in academia, government agencies and industry. Currently, it has an international advisory board consisting of scientists from the UK, Japan, Italy, Germany and the US. The state-of-the-art research building was opened on April 5, 2007. This two-story building houses world-class research facilities, including BSL3 labs, for Dr. Singh and for other research activities at UMass Dartmouth. For more information on BRC, visit www.umassd.edu/brc.
SOURCE Quanterix Corporation