Caprion awarded $12.9M US infectious disease biomarker research contract

14 October 2008

Canadian company Caprion Proteomics Inc. has been awarded a $12.9 million contract by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health, to carry out Biodefense research.

This award is the result of a highly competitive international selection process and is Caprion’s second major Biodefense contract with NIAID. Under the contract to be performed over a five-year period, Caprion will act as one of two NIAID Clinical Proteomics Centers for Infectious Disease & Biodefense, and will employ its distinctive CellCarta quantitative protein profiling technologies to perform several large scale applied proteomics projects using human clinical samples from patients with infectious diseases.

The projects will be aimed at the discovery, qualification, and verification of candidate biomarkers with potential for clinical use to improve detection and diagnosis and to monitor therapeutic and vaccine responses and susceptibility to infection for diseases caused by Biodefense pathogens.

This second major Biodefense research contract awarded to Caprion by NIAID builds on the expertise and results demonstrated by Caprion as part of an initial contract awarded in 2004 and still in progress, which is aimed at identifying new immunotherapy targets, vaccines, and diagnostic candidates based on pathogen and host proteins involved during Brucella infection.

“We are very pleased to be granted the opportunity to expand our infectious disease research program with NIAID into the area of clinical biomarker discovery and validation,” said Martin LeBlanc, President and CEO at Caprion. “This second major contract award from the NIAID provides further evidence of Caprion’s solid scientific capabilities and industry leadership position as a proteomics and biomarker services provider”.

Dr. Joanna Hunter, Caprion’s Senior Director of Protein Analysis, is the Principal Investigator for the research. Dr. Eustache Paramithiotis, Caprion’s Senior Director of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Principal Investigator on Caprion’s initial Biodefense research contract with NIAID, is the Project Manager.

“We are confident that this contract will further the Biodefense research goals of NIAID and lead to new strategies for diagnosing infectious diseases and for developing the next generation of therapies and vaccines,” said Dr. Daniel Chelsky, Caprion’s Chief Scientific Officer.

Caprion will retain rights to commercialize candidate biomarkers and diagnostic products discovered in this project. All proteomics discovery and validation results generated under the program will be made publicly available through the Proteomics Research Program Administrative Center.

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