– BHI offers program that guides biohealth startups in securing federal funding –  


ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, June 10, 2014 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI) announced today that two local biohealth companies to which it has provided strategic assistance, N5 Sensors, Inc. and BioDatomics, have secured Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards. N5 Sensors, a BHI client, received two awards: one from the Enivronmental Protection Agency (EPA) and one from the National Science Foundation (NSF). BioDatomics, which participated in a federal funding assistance program offered by BHI, secured an SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)1.  The U.S. federal government’s SBIR program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization. The SBIR program empowers these companies to develop their trade and provides a path to profitability.  

“BHI is dedicated to supporting start-up biohealth companies in Central Maryland in their submission of competitive SBIR applications,” said Ethan Byler, Director, Innovation Programs, BioHealth Innovation, Inc. “We congratulate N5 Sensors and BioDatomics on receiving SBIR grants from the EPA, NSF and the NIH, respectively.”

N5 Sensors of Rockville, which is developing a new generation of chemical sensors that can detect harmful chemicals mixed in air in very small quantities, recently announced that the EPA has issued a SBIR Phase I grant to the company for its low-power, small form-factor benzene sensors for exposure monitoring using mobile devices. The $100,000 grant will support N5’s work developing sensors that can detect small amounts of benzene in the air. A University of Maryland, College Park spin-off, N5 Sensors, Inc. has engaged BHI to support its commercial strategy. N5 has also recently been awarded a Phase I SBIR from the NSF to develop chip-scale carbon monoxide and ammonia sensors.

Abhishek Motayed, Ph.D., Founder and President, N5 Sensors, Inc., said, "Receiving the SBIR grants is a significant milestone for N5 Sensors. It allows us to actively engage in product development to target the high-value market of mobile environmental monitoring, and to develop a prototype which will allow N5 to actively engage with customers and market channel partners."

BioDatomics, Inc. is a Bethesda-based company that provides advanced next-generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis software and services. The company was recently awarded an SBIR grant from the NIH: “Building an open-source cloud-based computational platform to improve data access.” 
“While NGS funding has traditionally focused on generating new data, there is now an obvious need for NGS users to be able to glean insights from that data more quickly and intuitively. The NIH grant will allow BioDatomics to further expand its open-source toolset, bringing these added capabilities to biologists  and bioinformaticians alike,” said Alan Taffel, President of BioDatomics.

As part of its application process, BioDatomics utilized BHI’s federal funding assistance program, which provided funding for a professional review of the application prior to its submission. BHI reviewed 55 funding concepts in 2013 under this program and provided funding to eight projects and in-kind support to a number of other efforts focused on securing government research and development awards.

About N5 Sensors, Inc.

N5 Sensors, Inc. of Rockville, MD, is developing a new-generation of chemical sensors that can detect harmful chemicals mixed in air in very small quantities, such as industrial chemicals, automobile exhausts, cigarette smoke, and pollutants released from paints, cleaners, pesticides, and other products. The company’s patent-pending technology produces sensors that are microscale, ultra-sensitive, and highly selective. These new sensors, built using the same fabrication processes that are commonly used for silicon computer chips, are small and accurate with capability to detect multiple gases at the same time. For more information, visit n5sensors.com/index.htm.

About BioDatomics, LLC

BioDatomics provides powerful yet intuitive bioinformatics analysis software and services that improve genomic and biomedical research productivity. The company’s BioDT™ platform, which was built by some of the world’s most experienced computational and molecular biologists, allows researchers and bioinformaticians to more quickly glean insights from their data thanks to an easier-to-use intuitive interface, dramatically reduced analysis turnaround times and real-time collaboration between colleagues. The result is accelerated development of new medical treatments and other breakthroughs. BioDatomics was co-founded by Maxim Mikheev, MD, PhD and local executives Anthony Millin and Alan Taffel, and is headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Learn more at www.biodatomics.com.

About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.

BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland. Learn more at www.biohealthinnovation.org.

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1 Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43DA036970. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.