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Ceres Nanosciences Gets $225K Grant to Develop Technology for Fentanyl Detection

NEW YORK — Ceres Nanosciences said Monday that it has been awarded a $224,750 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop technology to enhance the detection of fentanyl in urine and oral fluids.

With the funding, Ceres said it will evaluate its Nanotrap technology, which uses hydrogel nanoparticles functionalized with internal affinity baits to enrich target analytes for downstream analysis, for enriching fentanyl and its derivatives in samples prior to testing.

The Manassas, Virginia-based company also intends to develop a workflow for Nanotrap-based sample processing in various contexts such as medium-volume reference labs and high-volume confirmatory testing labs.

The funding is being provided through the NIH's Helping to End Addiction Long-Term, or HEAL, initiative.

"We already know that the Nanotrap technology can be used to improve detection of fentanyl in urine samples, but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of fentanyl analogs out there," Ceres Chief Technology Officer Ben Lepene said in a statement. "These funds from the NIH will enable us to begin formulating the Nanotrap technology into a platform that could be used by clinical, commercial, and forensic labs for more comprehensive, efficient, and cost-effective sample collection and testing of fentanyl and its analogs."

Last year, Ceres' Lyme disease test, which also uses the Nanotrap technology, received Breakthrough Device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration.