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Quadrant Biosciences Wins $2M NIH Grant for Autism Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Quadrant Biosciences said today that it has received a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to finalize development of a saliva-based diagnostic for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

According to Syracuse, New York-based Quadrant, the test is designed to detect certain RNA and microbial transcription biomarkers — including microRNAs — that the company and collaborators at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Penn State University have linked to ASD. The investigators also recently completed an NIH-funded study of more than 500 children aged 18 months to 6 years that showed its test can differentiate ASD from typical development or developmental delay with over 85 percent accuracy.

Earlier this year, Quadrant licensed the commercial rights to the ASD biomarkers from its partner institutes.

Quadrant said that it will use the new three-year Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer grant to further validate the test in a multi-institute study of 750 children with ASD, developmental delays, and normal development, as well as prepare it for commercial launch later this year.

"While our results thus far have been very promising, further evaluation is always warranted," Randall Carpenter, executive director of clinical development at Quadrant, said in a statement.