News Article

Firefly BioWorks nabs $500K grant
Date: May 24, 2012
Source: bizjournals ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Firefly BioWorks Inc of Cambridge, MA

Firefly BioWorks Inc., a developer of multiplexed assays for biomarker detection, said it has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

Firefly's CEO and co-founder Davide Marini said the funds will be used to expand the company's products to clinical scientists and research hospitals. "Our company is at an inflection point and these funds will accelerate our commercialization and the expansion of our customer base," he said in a written statement.

The award was granted through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center's Small Business Matching Grant Program, which was created to accelerate new product commercialization for companies that have already received Phase II Small Business Innovation Research funding from federal agencies. In August 2011, Firefly landed a $2 million contract from the National Cancer Institute to validate its microRNA assay technology and expand production capacity.

"We are a team of engineers, passionate about creating the next generation of tools to enable low-cost personalized medicine" added Daniel Pregibon, Firefly's co-founder and CTO. "This award will allow us to more rapidly grow our production capacity, introduce new products, and expand our team." He said the company's products are manufactured in Massachusetts and it is committed to introducing innovative, efficient and environmentally-friendly production methods.

Federal grants give companies research and development money, and the center's matching grant program then funds the bridge to commercialization, said Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. She said the new grant will help Firefly commercialize its microRNA detection technology.

Last October the company also took in $1.99 million in a new funding round that saw participation by 18 unnamed backers.