July 21, 2015, St. Louis, MO
Cofactor Genomics has been awarded a $1.5 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health. This award follows a successful phase I showing the performance of Cofactor’s technology in enriching for circular RNAs (circRNAs) from multiple sample types. This product proved critical in identifying circular RNAs and will advance studies where circRNAs have been implicated, including coronary artery disease, Parkinson’s, psychiatric disorders, and cancer. Cofactor is continuing to sign up beta users to access the technology under their early access program (https://cofactorgenomics.com/circRNA/).
“Our team is aggressively continuing the development of our novel circRNA enrichment technology and are honored to be recognized by this award,” said Cofactor’s CSO, Jon Armstrong. “With recent publications implicating circular RNAs in dozens of diseases as well as interesting results coming out of our early access program, we recognize that both resistance to degradation and implications as a biomarker in disease provides a perfect opportunity for a new class of disease diagnostics,” he added.
CircRNA, a non-coding transcript present in the cytoplasm, has been identified as a potential biomarker for a wide variety of common diseases such as coronary artery disease, Parkinson’s, psychiatric disorders, and various forms of cancer. Since circRNAs are present in lower abundance than other RNA molecules, and share sequence homology with mRNA, they are difficult to isolate from total RNA. Cofactor’s technology, which enriches circRNAs, paired with a way to bioinformatically identify these molecules will be a powerful tool for the future study and diagnosis of disease.
Research reported in this release was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health under grant number R44DA038993. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Cofactor Genomics is a privately held biotechnology company founded in 2008 after the completion of the Human Genome project by Technology Development Scientists from Washington University’s Genome Center in Saint Louis, MO. Cofactor is committed to translating next-generation sequencing based technologies into stable and complete end-to-end product solutions through R&D developments that combine molecular, sequencing, and bioinformatics. Cofactor Genomics is the market leader in RNA based products and services in the rapidly expanding functional genomics market. Find out more about Cofactor Genomics at cofactor.wpengine.com.