Policy & Regulation
Plexision Awarded Competitive Grant from the National Science Foundation to Develop its Novel COVID-19 Immunity Test
20 October 2020 - - US-based biotechnology company Plexision has been awarded a National Science Foundation Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant, the company said.

This funding will be used to develop a widely available version of Plexision's novel immunity test for COVID-19 infection.

Current tests assess protective immunity by measuring antibodies, which develop after infection. Plexision's blood test measures cell-mediated immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is offered from its CLIA-certified laboratory.

This test can aid immunity assessments in individuals who have never been exposed to the virus, and those who may develop short-lived antibodies after exposure to the virus.

Pre-existing cell-mediated immunity has been detected in over half of healthy individuals who have never been exposed to SARS-CoV-2, and reflects prior exposure to other coronaviruses which cause flu-like illness in the general population.

This immunity is greatly compromised in severe COVID-19 infection.

Therefore, in addition to assessing infection-risk among vulnerable unexposed individuals, cell-mediated immunity can also identify those patients at risk for severe COVID-19 infection.

About the National Science Foundation's Small Business Programs: America's Seed Fund powered by NSF awards USD 200m annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact.

Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to USD 1.75m to support research and development, helping de-risk technology for commercial success.

America's Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research program.

The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about USD 8.1bn that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
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