Ceres Nanosciences, Manassas, Va, has received a $243,000 Phase I SBIR award from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ceres will use this award to adapt its Nanotrap Virus Particles to enable a workflow that is inexpensive, easy to use, and rapid enough to integrate with portable RNA and DNA viral sequencing tools recently developed by the CDC and other organizations.

“Using Nanotrap Virus Particles to capture and concentrate viral pathogens from samples, we can increase the amount of genomic material that goes into the sequencers by 10-fold,” says Ben Lepene, Ceres Nanosciences’ chief technology officer. “This should, in turn, significantly improve the sensitivity of the portable pathogen sequencing workflows that are out there.”

Nanotrap Virus Particles are viral pathogen surveillance tools that improve detection of multiple strains of influenza, RSV, and coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and are being used in covid-19 RT-PCR tests under an FDA emergency use authorization.

“With this award from CDC and the recent contract awarded to Ceres by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Advanced Technology Platforms (RADx-ATP) program to increase SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity in the United States, Ceres is going to help lead the nation out of the current pandemic and is going to build the tools to help avoid the next one,” says Robbie Barbero, Ceres Nanosciences chief business officer. 

For more information, visit Ceres Nanosciences.