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May 28th, 2009

Building Block for Growth

Abstract:
Recently celebrating its 25th anniversary, BFTP/SEP invests in innovative enterprises and creates commercialization pathways that generate wealth through science and technology. Part of a statewide network in Pennsylvania, BFTP/SEP has provided more than $130 million to grow more than 1,600 regional enterprises. BFTP/SEP is a founding partner of The Nanotechnology Institute, Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology, the Emerald Stage2 Venture Fund and the Minority Angel Investor Network.

Among the BFTP-funded success stories is BioNanomatrix, which has pioneered technology enabling nanoscale investigation and analysis of genomic DNA. The Philadelphia-based company develops analytic and imaging platforms designed to dramatically reduce the time and cost needed to analyze DNA and other components of the genome. BioNanomatrix recently won the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation of the Year Award. The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards identify companies, products, processes and executives that have achieved world-class performances.

BFTP invested $250,000 in BioNanomatrix in 2006, and in 2008 honored the company at the 14th Annual Ben Franklin Emerging Business Awards, known as the "Bennies," in which the company won the Best Management Team category.

BioNanomatrix's unique nanochannel array technology enables rapid and cost-effective analysis of the entire human genome, delivering single-molecule sensitivity in a massively parallel format for genetic diagnostics, personalized medicine and biomedical research applications.

BioNanomatrix recently received a Phase II grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support further commercial development of the company's nanoscale whole genome imaging and analysis platform.

The 30-month, $2.08-million Small Business Investment Research (SBIR) award was made under the BioEngineering Nanotechnology Initiative, an interdisciplinary, multi-institute consortium with the stated goal of supporting the development of nanotechnologies critical for enabling essential breakthroughs that may have tremendous potential for affecting biomedicine.

"We are pleased that the NIH has again recognized the potential of our unique approach by awarding us this Phase II grant for the commercial development of our integrated nanoscale whole genome imaging and analysis platform," Dr. Michael Boyce-Jacino, president and CEO of BioNanomatrix, said.

"BioNanomatrix's nanoscale technology is intended to allow researchers to directly image and analyze very long, individual intact strands of DNA at the single-molecule level with very high resolution. [This yields] a great deal of genomic information that is not currently accessible...for a wide range of research and diagnostic applications," he added.

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