Circulomics Awarded $1.7M in SBIR Grants to Develop Nanobind Methods for FFPE and NGS Sample Prepara

NIH has awarded Circulomics two SBIR grants totaling over $1.7M to develop new applications of its Nanobind nucleic acid extraction technology. Nanobind is a novel magnetic disk that contains a high density of micro- and nanostructured silica on the surface and that can be used for a wide variety of sample preparation applications. The nanostructured surface provides high capture efficiency, immense binding capacity, and protection from damage. Previous NIH grants have been used to develop kits for high MW DNA extraction (50 kb – 1 Mb+) from cultured cells, bacteria, blood, and tissues.

These new grants will be used to develop the first applications of Nanobind beyond high MW

DNA extraction. The first award is a Phase I grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to develop Nanobind methods for tunable size selection purification in next-generation sequencing library preparation. Nanobind can be used for reaction cleanup to remove small background molecules such as adapters and primer dimers. However, Nanobind’s unique binding mechanism also allows it to perform tunable size selection of much larger library products to enhance long-read sequencing read lengths. All Nanobind methods use a simple bind, wash, and elute process that features high purification and high recovery efficiencies.

The second award is a Phase II grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to develop Nanobind methods that can obtain high quality DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue samples and cytology samples. The Phase I studies showed that Nanobind could obtain high quality DNA and RNA from a wide variety of pathology sample types including FFPE sections, tissue blocks, and cytology samples. These studies further found that under specific conditions, Nanobind could uniquely obtain high MW DNA (>100 kb) from these samples as well. Phase II work will focus on maturation of the Nanobind methods to further improve DNA and RNA quality. As part of this work, Circulomics will begin development of a new portfolio of assays to quantitatively assess DNA quality.

These awards bring total funding to nearly $8M and drive the expansion of Circulomics’ growing portfolio of sample preparation technologies for genomics research and molecular diagnostics that include Nanobind, various DNA quality assays, and the PicoSep single molecule sizing instrument.

A press release has been issued to announce these awards.

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