Public Release: 

Novel nanoparticle technology to be used to screen for Ebola virus in saliva

Ceres receives $430,000 in funding for Ebola test development program from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

George Mason University

MANASSAS, Va. -- December 2, 2014 -- Ceres Nanosciences Inc. (Ceres) today announced the commencement of a development program, funded by the Gates Foundation, to use Ceres' Nanotrap® particle technology to develop a new method of detecting the presence of the Ebola virus in saliva. During the four-month performance of this program, Ceres will work in close collaboration with George Mason University and the United States Army Medical Research Institutes of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to assess the ability of the Nanotrap technology to develop a more sensitive and safer Ebola virus detection method that uses saliva instead of blood.

Ceres, a biotechnology company located in Northern Virginia, has developed and commercialized a novel nanoparticle technology, the Nanotrap®, which provides powerful biofluid sample processing capabilities for a wide array of diagnostic applications and sample handling needs.

The Nanotrap technology was invented at George Mason under funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for biomarker discovery applications and is being developed into commercial products by Ceres with continuing support from NIH, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The combined team of Ceres, Mason and USAMRIID will bring forward world-class research capabilities and resources to execute this project on a rapid schedule to address the dire need for better testing methods for Ebola.

"Detection and confirmation of the Ebola virus is limited by issues inherent in collecting blood samples for testing," says Ross Dunlap, CEO of Ceres. "These include exposure risk, lack of adequately trained personnel, sample storage requirements, and, in some cases, cultural objections toward blood collection. The potential increased sensitivity afforded by Nanotrap sample processing in saliva could enable safer, earlier and more accurate detection and response during an outbreak."

"The effective detection of Ebola, using a noninvasive sample collection method, such as saliva collection, coupled with a highly sensitive diagnostic test, all enabled by our Nanotrap particle technology, presents a very compelling solution for rapid identification of infected individuals at an earlier stage of infection," says Emanuel Petricoin, codirector of the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at Mason and cofounder of Ceres.

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About Ceres Nanosciences, Inc.

Ceres Nanosciences is a privately held company focused on the development of research and diagnostic products using its unique and proprietary Nanotrap® capture particle technology. Ceres' business goals are to develop a number of commercial applications of the Nanotrap® for high-demand diagnostics and other needs in the life sciences industry.

Press Contact:

Ross M. Dunlap
Ceres Nanosciences, Inc
1.800.615.0418 ext. 202
rdunlap@ceresnano.com

About George Mason University

George Mason University is Virginia's largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. Mason is also one of the best values in higher education, producing graduates who lead all Virginia schools with the highest annual salaries.

Press Contact:

Michele McDonald
George Mason University
703.993.8781
mmcdon15@gmu.edu

About USAMRIID

USAMRIID's mission is to provide leading edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents. Research conducted at USAMRIID leads to medical solutions--vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and information--that benefit both military personnel and civilians. The Institute plays a key role as the lead military medical research laboratory for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

[The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.]

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