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Platypus Technologies secures $450K SBIR grant

Madison, Wis. - Platypus Technologies, LLC, a life sciences and nanotechnology company, will receive a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant worth $450,000 to develop a tool used to detect molecular interactions.

The funds, granted by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, will be used to improve the performance of analytical instruments that use the company's liquid crystal-based technology. The product helps to detect molecules that are important to specific biological responses and disease states.

These detection instruments, or assays, are part of an expanding product line at Platypus that could be developed for basic research, clinical medicine, environmental studies, and military applications.

One such product, a cell migratory assay that could help cancer researchers measure the movement of cells, will be beta tested this fall and could hit the market in the first quarter of 2007.

This award follows a seperate SBIR award worth $200,000 from the National Cancer Institute, which was announced in July, and a three-year Phase II SBIR grant of $2.14 million from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, which was awarded last fall.
Platypus, a company of 20 employees located in the Fitchburg Technology Campus, has received over $12 million in federal funding to develop its nanotechnology products for the physical and life sciences.

Its technology fuses advances in nanoscale science, materials science, and molecular biology to provide tools for use in cell studies, environmental monitoring, and in-vitro diagnostics.

The company's management team includes CEO Barbara Israel; Chairman Chris Murphy, a professor in the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine; and President and Chief Scientific Officer Nicholas Abbott, a Sobota professor of Chemical Engineering in the UW-Madison College of Engineering.

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