Immunoassay company Calbiotech was awarded a U.S. Army Phase I SBIR grant to develop analyte-specific reagents (ASRs) for diagnosing dengue fever virus in blood or sera. The research will focus on developing and gaining approval for a method of diagnosing dengue fever to facilitate faster medical responses to outbreaks of the infection.
Dengue virus is a mosquito-borne flavirus that represents a threat to military forces in tropical areas. Calbiotech says that the disease is now endemic in over 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia, and the Western Pacific.
The Phase I award means Calbiotech can also compete for $730,000 in Phase II funding. If achieved, the Phase II project would cover the development of ASRs for the blood or serum-based diagnosis of other diseases including rift valley fever, sand fly fever-Toscana, Crimean-Congo fever, central European tick-borne encephalitis, and chikungunya viruses.
Calbiotech specializes in the provision of immunoassay products and services. The company offers ELISA, lumELISA™ (ultra-sensitive chemilumenescent ELISA), and radioimmunoassay (RIA) products as well as preclinical testing services.