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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (July 12, 2023) – Life sciences diagnostic company Amplified Sciences has received a $400,000 grant to develop testing to improve the early detection of pancreatic cancer.

The National Cancer Institute awarded the Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to the West Lafayette-based company, which licenses innovations developed by Purdue University.

The award will help as health care providers seek to understand with greater confidence whether a patient’s pancreatic cyst is benign or malignant, and whether removal is needed.

“Health care professionals need better tools to help them manage these patients and identify individuals most at risk for pancreatic cancer,” Amplified Sciences CEO Diana Caldwell said in a news release. “Pancreatic cysts are a window to early detection and represent an important risk factor in identifying pancreatic cancer early.”

The grant will help support the procurement of banked patient samples and clinical trials in studying ways to better detect cancer. Amplified Sciences is also eligible for a Phase I grant match of up to $50,000 from Indianapolis-based venture capital firm Elevate Ventures.

Amplified Sciences’ diagnostic products are based on technology invented by Purdue professor V. Jo Davisson.

“This award recognizes the strength of our scientific team, the potential of our chemistry platform and the National Institutes of Health’s interest in support early-stage diagnostics in this disease state,” Davisson said.

Clinicians now must balance the risk of potentially missing a malignant cyst with opting to surgically remove one that’s actually benign, Caldwell said, noting that retrospective studies show nearly a fourth of surgeries to remove pancreatic cysts were unnecessary.

Up to a quarter of patients receive surgery too late, however, when clinicians decide instead to take a wait-and-see approach, the CEO said.

“The dual-edged nature of this process highlights the need for better early-stage diagnostic tools,” Caldwell said.

In 2021, Amplified Sciences was named to the Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School’s Most Fundable Companies list. The company has raised nearly $3 million in seed funding over the last three years and was also a big winner at the national MedCity INVEST pitch competition in 2020.

Original Story here.