As the need for hematology and immunoassay testing grows, Indexus Biomedical, a small business based in RTP, NC is taking the lead in developing a novel platform specifically to facilitate advanced diagnostics at the primary care level for HIV infected patients. Indexus was founded by Chiranjit Deka, PhD in April 2013 and carries out its R&D operations at the First Flight Venter Center (FFVC). The Indexus R&D team includes scientists and engineers based in North Carolina, New Mexico and New York. Currently, it has 2 full time employees and 8 part time employees and contractors.
Recognizing the need for better solutions, the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is supporting the company’s mission via the SBIR program. In 2014, the company was awarded Phase I- SBIR and in addition, received SBIR matching funds via the One North Carolina Small Business Fund. With these funds, the company advanced its first prototype platform and is currently developing its test menu on this platform and collaborating with the Duke University Human Vaccine Institute. The company plans to submit a Phase 2 SBIR proposal to further move forward this technology towards commercialization. Assuming receipt of the Phase 2, the goal is to have a fully commercialized product ready for the market in two years.
Dr. Deka states that SBIR grants submission process is very well defined by each agency, and once mastered, the process is straight forward. “We learned that before submission of an SBIR proposal, it helps to understand the many administrative and procedural requirements”, noted Dr. Decker. “For example, early registration for FEIN Numbers (Department of Labor), DUNS Numbers (Dun & Bradstreet) and SAM Registration well ahead of submission due dates helps. Similarly, accounting and budgeting also require careful attention to details that many scientists and engineers tend find difficult. For entrepreneurs that are unfamiliar with these processes, it is helpful to start early and work with organizations that have such experience, for example the North Carolina SBTDC.”
“The SBTDC has been a strong pillar of support for Indexus. From one-on-one consulting to facilitating networking opportunities within the NC entrepreneurial community, from facilitating timely submission of SBIR and other funding opportunities through regular information updates to active support through its summer MBA internship program, SBTDC has been a great resource for our company”, stated Dr. Deka
Once commercialized, Indexus Biomedical’s testing platform will enable physicians to test for multiple diseases on a single blood sample and deliver comprehensive screening and diagnosis the same day that a patient visits his or her primary care center. In doing so, this platform will effectively bring into the primary care centers around the world, the combined power of advanced reference laboratories and specialty treatment decisions.