A Medical Device Daily

Pressure BioSciences (West Bridgewater, Massachusetts) reported receiving a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for experiments concerning use of the company's Pressure Cycling Technology (PCT) to develop a method to extract clinically important protein biomarkers, sub-cellular molecular complexes, and organelles from cells and tissues. The six-month grant is for $149,470.

PCT uses cycles of hydrostatic pressure between ambient and ultra-high levels (up to 35,000 psi and greater) to control bio-molecular interactions.

The company said that a greater understanding of the proteome is expected to lead to significant improvements in disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and that its PCT Sample Preparation System (PCT SPS) will provide significant improvements in the accuracy and reproducibility of proteomic sample preparation compared to current methods.

Pressure said it also expects that, compared to currently available methods, its PCT SPS will better enable the enrichment of low-abundance biomolecules that may be essential for developing a greater understanding of disease states in humans.

Richard Schumacher, president/CEO of Pressure, said, "Data generated in our laboratories, and in the laboratories of collaborators, indicate that PCT can be a powerful new tool for discovery in the extraction of proteins and molecular complexes. The unique mechanisms of PCT, concomitant with the features of our PCT Sample Preparation System (PCT SPS), have generated evidence of increased protein yield and the potential for extracting intact sub-cellular components in a safer and more reproducible manner than other extraction methods in use today."

Pressure reports having 13 U.S. and five foreign patents covering multiple applications of PCT in the life sciences field.

In other grant news: The NIH has awarded a two-phase SBIR grant to CAD Sciences (White Plains, New York) to develop, in collaboration with clinical investigators, a specific application of the company's pharmacokinetic analysis technology for the characterization of cancerous lung nodules using contrast-enhanced MRI.

The amount of the grant was not given but was described by CAD as "major." The first phase of the grant will fund the company's research through Aug. 31, 2007, to show feasibility for a minimally-invasive method to characterize lung malignancies using magnetic resonance imaging.

CAD Sciences develops computer-assisted modeling of contrast enhancement in MRI of cancer. It designs and distributes certain intellectual property in computer-assisted diagnosis and magnetic resonance angiography software for medical imaging.

CytoCore hires SIPR for InPath campaign

CytoCore (Chicago) reported that it has engaged the public relations firm, SIPR (San Francisco), to launch a campaign for its InPath system, an early detection test for uterine/endometrial cancers. CytoCore says SIPR will advance CytoCore's product portfolio, which also includes the e2 Collector, a cell collection device for Pap tests.

"We believe SIPR's depth of experience with Silicon Valley's innovation technologies – and, in particular, the regulated life sciences – makes them uniquely capable of delivering the right message to the right market segments at the right time," said David Weisberg, CytoCore's CEO.

CytoCore develops cancer screening systems for the early detection of cervical, endometrial, and other cancers.

Millipore opens new R&D Center

Millipore (Billerica, Massachusetts) has opened a new $50 million R&D center in Bedford, Massachusetts. Millipore said that the center will enable it "to leverage cutting-edge technologies," positioning it to meet "the growing demands of the global biopharmaceutical market and the life sciences industry."

The 110,000 square-foot building, designed by ARC/Architectural Resources (Cambridge, Massachusetts), contains 47,000 square feet of lab space, Millipore said. Martin Madaus, CEO and chairman of Millipore, said that the center "[enables] us to attract the best scientific talent and bring together multiple research disciplines to develop integrated solutions. These solutions will create value for our biotechnology and pharmaceutical customers and fuel our continued growth as a leader in the life sciences industry."

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