Date: Sep 28, 2007 Source: bizjournals (
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Virogenomics Inc. has landed a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to support development of a new diagnostic technology.
The Tigard-based company was one of 56 nationwide to garner money under the national institute's Advanced Technology Program, which pays out competitive awards to accelerate high-risk industrial research projects.
The device Virogenomics is developing would utilize semiconductor technology commonly used in liquid crystal display products. Leaders envision the product would look like a USB memory stick. Blood or salvia would be smeared on the device, which would be plugged into a computer, and in seconds it could detect the presence of antibodies that denote allergies or autoimmune diseases.
The company has been collaborating with Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University on a three-year grant to develop the technology. The innovation was first conceived in a research lab at OHSU. The Portland-based medical institute holds the patent for the technology, and licensed the technology to Virogenomics.
The diagnostic technology may ultimately spur the creation of a new company, a subsidiary of Virogenomics, to more easily raise capital, said company spokesman Jeff King.
Virogenomics is a privately held company which typically obtains rights to early-stage technologies, manages and develops the technologies and spins them off to form new start-up companies. Other examples of Virogenomics spin-offs include ArtielleImmunoTherapeutics, which is developing a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, and stroke technology was recently spun off into the new company, NeuroProtect Inc.