Enable Biosciences Awarded $224K in NIH Funding for Food Allergy Blood Test


Sep 21, 2018
NEW YORK (360Dx) –Enable Biosciences said Thursday that it has received a Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant for $223,806 to accelerate development of its minimally invasive blood tests for food allergy.

The San Francisco-based firm said it will use the SBIR grant received from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop an enhanced test panel that covers 80 percent of the most common food allergens, such as milk, peanut, and shellfish.

Enable Biosciences said that it is developing a test that detects many allergy markers at once without sacrificing quality.

“Current tests either detect only one allergy marker at a time at high cost and require collection of large sample volumes, or detect many markers at once with a loss of sensitivity,” Cheng-ting “Jason” Tsai, Enable’s chief technology officer, said in a statement.

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Because Enable’s test requires only a droplet of blood, it could improve testing compliance in children, the firm said.

Enable, a developer of multiplex immunoassays, is commercializing licensed technology from UC Berkeley and Stanford University. The firm has developed a technology called antibody detection by agglutination PCR that couples specific DNA tags with antigens that are used to detect the presence of antibodies in blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids.

Enable’s food allergy project expands on work between its scientists and Stanford co-investigators Stephen Galli and Kari Nadeau.

Food allergies affect up to 9 percent of the US population, and more than 30,000 allergic reactions per year require emergency care, according to Enable.

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