MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Jan. 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. ("Protea"), announced today that it is a part of a team led by the George Washington University (GWU) that has been awarded up to $14.6 million for a cooperative agreement spanning five years from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In addition to Protea, SRI International and GE Global Research will collaborate with GWU on this project titled "New Tools for Comparative Systems Biology of Threat Agent Action Mechanisms".
The goal of DARPA's Rapid Threat Assessment (RTA) program is to develop new tools and methods to elucidate the mechanism of action of a threat agent, drug, biologic or chemical on living cells within 30 days from exposure. Uncovering the mechanism of action of such agents in 30 days, compared to the years or decades currently required, could be the key to the development of threat mitigations and countermeasures. Such a new approach could also reduce the strategic advantage associated with rapidly emerging chemical or biological threats in a national security context.
To achieve this shortened timeline, researchers will seek to develop new methods, based upon technologies invented in the GWU laboratory of Prof. Akos Vertes and exclusively licensed to Protea. Furthermore, GWU and its team will focus on developing de novo molecular network discovery capabilities, as the molecular networks within living cells are vast and complex. Conventional approaches fail to capture the system-wide response of a living cell to a threat agent.
Protea Biosciences Group, Inc.
Protea is a molecular information company, whose proprietary technology enables direct molecular imaging – the ability to identify and display biomolecules in tissue and cells, without sample pretreatment. Protea delivers robust molecular information to medical and life science researchers worldwide.
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Source:Protea Biosciences, Inc.