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PRESS RELEASE: Contract Awarded to Develop digitalMALDI Real-Time Biological Threat Detection Technology

Image created by Dr. Michael J. Miller

Zeteo Tech, Inc., the biodefense and medical device company that has developed a revolutionary new class of fieldable biological mass spectrometers, announced that it has been awarded a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research contract for $1.87M with a potential value of up to $5.86 million (including options) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This new contract will fund the development and testing of digitalMALDI®, Zeteo Tech’s next generation of sensor technology that enables real-time detection of aerosolized biological-threat agents that include bacteria, viruses, and toxins. This next generation device takes advantage of technological breakthroughs made by the Zeteo Tech, Inc. team during a previous DHS contract. Both contracts were awarded in support of the Department’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

“We are excited to have been selected for this award to assist the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate with its ongoing efforts to develop new tools for improving detection and response times to potential bioterrorism attacks or naturally occurring biological incidents,” said Dr. Wayne Bryden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zeteo Tech. “Our team’s deep expertise with developing fieldable and real-time biological mass spectrometers is perfectly aligned to help DHS achieve its objective of protecting citizens and critical infrastructures from biological threats.”

DHS S&T is working to develop, test, and deploy new technologies that will decrease both the time and costs required to detect a biological incident. Current systems can require up to 12-36 hours to detect an aerosolized biological threat agent and are costly to operate. The sensors to be developed under this program will contain component technologies that alert when a biological agent may be present and then specifically identify the nature of that biological agent. This approach improves current capabilities by:

1. Reducing the amount of time needed to detect the presence of aerosolized biological-threat agents following its release from the currently accepted 12-36-hour timeframe down to just minutes,

2. Increasing the total number of biological-threat agents that can be detected compared to those of already existing technologies, and

3. Significantly lowering deployment, operations, reagent, and maintenance costs on a per sensor basis.

“The digitalMALDI® system is unique in that it enables real-time analysis of biological aerosols,” said Mike McLoughlin, Vice President of Research at Zeteo Tech. “In addition to applications related to defending critical infrastructure against biological-terrorist attacks, digitalMALDI opens the door to rapid analysis of nonvolatile biomarkers in breath to rapidly screen individuals for respiratory infection.”

About Zeteo Tech

Zeteo Tech is a venture-backed biodefense- and medical- device company that has developed a revolutionary new class of fieldable biological mass spectrometers. Zeteo Tech’s instruments identify airborne microbes, proteins, and lipids, and can also screen for infectious diseases and other biological agent threats. Its innovative and patent-pending time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry technology, digitalMALDI®, enables fully automated and near real-time identification of biological threats in operational environments. TOF also dramatically lowers cost-of-ownership relative to the biological-molecular reagent-based systems currently being deployed for biodefense applications.

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