Kepley BioSystems Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Help Prevent the Leading Cause of Untimely Death, Sepsis


Kepley BioSystems received NSF funding to develop a disruptive innovation and global healthcare solution to combat sepsis.


GREENSBORO, N.C., July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Kepley BioSystems has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop a novel approach to the diagnosis and management of septicemia and sepsis. The grant, "A Rapid, Sensitive Pathogen Typing and Antibiotic Sensitivity Test for Bloodstream Infections" builds upon the company's previous ecological work to aquaculture horseshoe crabs to curtail their demise.

The blood of the horseshoe crab has a unique cellular component, Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) that has bacterial specificity and sensitivity in the parts-part-trillion range. For decades, the global healthcare has depended on the LAL substrate to meet the FDA biomedical sterility requirements that protect the safety of pharmaceuticals and implantable devices.

Kepley BioSystems has applied the LAL substrate to diagnostic medicine to advance bloodstream infection detection. This work is a direct response to the Global Call to Arms by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations General Assemblies, noted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (Jan 20, 2016). World leaders warned of the rise infectious disease and quantified the global impact of sepsis as the cause of 1 out of every 5 deaths (11 million annual untimely deaths).

Notably, bloodborne infections, when caught early, are easily cured with existing antibiotics. "We are pleased to receive validation from the NSF to develop the next generation of diagnostic tools that help in reducing the impact of sepsis," said Kepley Director of Research and Development, Dr. Rachel Tinker-Kulberg.

The NSF SBIR program delivers non-dilutive funding to disruptive science and technology small businesses with commercial promise and societal impact. To learn more about America's Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit:

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America's Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $2 million to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America's Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $8.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.

About Kepley BioSystems: Kepley BioSystems is a North Carolina-based life sciences biotech operating out of Gateway Research Park (GRP) in collaboration with the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), comprised of a partnership between the North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University (NCA&T) and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Kepley BioSystems was founded in 2013 with a mission to emerge disruptive innovations to achieve global solutions. Having been primarily grant-funded to date, Kepley is seeking commercial partners and/or equity investors to help realize its full potential in multi-billion-dollar markets across the company's portfolio. For more information, visit:


Lee Robertson               


Director, Scientific Communications and Operations


Kepley BioSystems Incorporated


Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering


Phone: 336-217-5163











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