NanoView Biosciences, an emerging leader in the field of exosome characterization, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research Phase II grant in the amount of $750,000. The program will focus on completing development of the ExoView™ system, the company’s innovative instrument and consumables platform that enables complete characterization of extracellular vesicles, including exosomes.
“There is growing awareness about the important role exosomes play in the body, and researchers are justifiably excited about their potential to diagnose and treat disease,” said Jerry Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of NanoView. “Traditional methods used to analyze exosomes cannot efficiently and accurately identify and characterize these tiny extracellular vesicles. Our ExoView platform will solve this problem, and the NSF funding will allow us to advance the technology further as we prepare for commercialization early next year.”
The research conducted under the Phase 1 grant awarded in 2017 successfully established the ExoView technology as a method for direct-from-sample exosome characterization. During the Phase II program, NanoView will further enhance the platform by scaling manufacturing of the assay, improving detection of small particles including exomeres, and extending the shelf-life of the products. The resulting platform will enable measurements with significantly less sample volume, detection of less concentrated targets, and increased throughput with a workflow that bypasses purification protocols needed by other techniques.
“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”
Exosomes are nanoscale extracellular vesicles secreted by most cell types; they represent the communication system between cells. “There is growing interest in the research and translational fields to use exosomes to treat and diagnose cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and other clinical applications,” said David Freedman, Ph.D., Principal Investigator of the grant and Chief Operating Officer of NanoView. Dr. Freedman added, “To realize their potential, it is important to understand the difference in size, surface molecules, chemistry, and mechanical properties of exosomes. Most currently available methods for analyzing exosomes are cumbersome, expensive, and require large sample volumes that are not readily available. They also do not monitor the biological markers of exosomes, so it is too easy to mistakenly analyze particles that are not exosomes.”
About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs: America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awards nearly $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 $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds 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 $7.5 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
To learn more about the NSF SBIR/STTR program, visit: seedfund.nsf.gov.
NanoView, a Boston-based, privately-held company, enables life science researchers to better understand the biological role of exosomes and their potential use as biomarkers for improving the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and monitoring of disease. The company’s proprietary product, the ExoView™ system, was designed to fully characterize exosomes and other extracellular vesicles for use in research and in the implementation of precision medicine. ExoView is a high-throughput, cost-effective analysis platform that is easy to use and does not require purification or large sample volumes to accurately analyze exosomes.
Source – PR Newswire