CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 8, 2020 – Travera, LLC has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant in the amount of $1 million to conduct research and development (R&D) of the company’s suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) platform for personalized medicine in cancer. This grant will further the company’s efforts associated with the previously Phase I SBIR grant the company previously received.
This recently awarded Phase II SBIR grant is intended to help the company further develop methods and techniques that will be used to offer new tests for guiding the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM) patients. The test relies on resolving changes of cancer cells collected from patients upon exposure to various drug options by measuring the mass of individual cells. This project aims to develop a high-throughput single-cell mass measurement platform based on suspended microchannel resonators (SMR) to resolve the effects of the drugs on the cancer cells. In this project a new generation of SMR chips with linked single-cell imaging, image processing and cell classification will be developed to analyze a 20-drug panel in three hours.
“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, Division Director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”
“This award will assist Travera’s effort to rapidly advance the development of our SMR platform and enable the company to commercialize a clinical test which will assist clinicians to personalize cancer therapies for their patients,” stated Clifford Reid, Ph.D., Travera’s CEO. “We are pleased that the NSF has acknowledged the innovative science associated with our technology and awarded us this grant following their rigorous merit-based review process.”
About the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Programs
America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $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 $1.75 million in funding 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 $8.1 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
To learn more about America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF, visit: https://seedfund.nsf.gov/
Travera was founded in 2017 to commercialize a breakthrough measurement technology and biomarker developed in the Manalis Laboratory in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The company’s initial test is based on this technology; a new measurement tool called the Suspended Microchannel Resonator (SMR) that makes exquisitely precise measurements of the effects of cancer drugs on cancer cells.