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Posted: July 21, 2008
Ceres Nanosciences to Develop Nanotechnology Products for Health Care, Industry and Government Applications
(Nanowerk News) A unique affiliation of national and international scientists, university and government research laboratories, and entrepreneurs has launched Ceres Nanosciences LLLP, a Virginia biotechnology company created to introduce innovative nanotechnology products that address immediate needs in health care, industry and government.
Based on pioneering discoveries emerging from the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at George Mason University, Ceres will use the Nanotrap™ -- a spherical, carbon-based nanoparticle designed to collect, concentrate, isolate and preserve the smallest and scarcest of molecules found in body fluids -- to pursue a range of applications in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as uses in sports screening, homeland security and environmental remediation.
The Nanotrap™ technology was developed under the leadership of Lance Liotta and Emanuel Petricoin III, co-directors of the Mason center, as part of a collaborative research program with the Instituto Superiore di Sanita` of Rome, Italy, the primary scientific arm of the Italian National Health Service and one of the most prestigious health institutions in Europe.
“This is a significant leap forward in a technology that combines with existing assay platforms to offer a more efficient, reliable and accurate method for critical diagnostic processes,” says Thomas Dunlap, Ceres’ chief executive officer. “There is no other science in the world that can immediately preserve, protect and stabilize molecules harvested from body fluids.”
Initially Ceres will use the Nanotrap™ to develop a foolproof screening process for the human growth hormone, or HGH, in urine, which may revolutionize the way college and professional sports organizations monitor potential drug use by athletes, Dunlap explains. “We currently are in discussions with the World Anti-Doping Agency regarding the application of this technology to drug screening,” he says.
Other applications are under discussion with leading companies in the biotechnology industry, he adds, including the detection of sepsis in hospital patients and a skin patch to identify allergens.
Ceres is negotiating a short-term lease agreement with the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to locate a laboratory on county-owned property in the INNOVATION @ Prince William Technology Park, allowing convenient access to Mason’s Prince William Campus and other biotechnology companies located in INNOVATION. The county also has agreed to provide up to $100,000 in site development and utility extensions to accelerate the operation of the facility.
Private capital offerings will be conducted by Ceres in Virginia and Washington, D.C., on Aug. 19 and Aug. 20. For additional information about the company, contact Dunlap at 800-615-0418 or visit www.ceresnano.com.