Cambridge, Mass, October 21, 2009 - Seventh Sense Biosystems announced today that it has received a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support an innovative global health research project conducted by Dr. Howard Bernstein, titled "On-skin and Intra-dermal Malaria Diagnostics with Unprecedented Simplicity of Use Based on Bio-Responsive Particles and Interstitial Fluid Analysis."
Dr. Bernstein's project is one of 76 grants announced by the Gates Foundation in the third funding round of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to help scientists around the world explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve health in developing countries. The grants were provided to scientists in 16 countries on five continents. The initiative is highly competitive, receiving almost 3,000 proposals in this round.
The Grand Challenges Explorations award will fund research at Seventh Sense aimed at developing a new class of products for monitoring malaria infection that combine extreme ease-of-use, low cost, speed, and field-compatibility. Under the grant, Seventh Sense will adapt its particle-based detection technology and interstitial fluid access devices to enable direct visualization of infection status without the need for cumbersome and expensive gadgetry.
"We are very excited and proud to be working with the Gates Foundation on this project," said Douglas Levinson, Seventh Sense's CEO. "We feel the award recognizes the significant potential of our assay and device technologies to enable development of important products for improving human health. We look forward to achieving the stated deliverables of the program and building a strong relationship with the Foundation."
"The winners of these grants show the bold thinking we need to tackle some of the world's greatest health challenges," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "I'm excited about their ideas and look forward to seeing some of these exploratory projects turn into life-saving breakthroughs."
About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a five-year, $100 million initiative of the Gates Foundation to promote innovation in global health. The program uses an agile, streamlined grant process - applications are limited to two pages, and preliminary data are not required. Proposals are reviewed and selected by a committee of foundation staff and external experts, and grant decisions are made within approximately three months of the close of the funding round.
Applications for the current round of Grand Challenges Explorations are being accepted through November 2, 2009. Grant application instructions, including the list of topics for which proposals are currently being accepted, are available at http://www.grandchallenges.org/explorations.
About Seventh Sense Biosystems, Inc.
Seventh Sense Biosystems is an early stage, venture-backed company developing a new generation of health monitoring products that seamlessly interface with human skin to sense and display actionable health information. Our products will offer unprecedented simplicity of use and lifestyle compatibility. These features will promote widespread adoption across a variety of settings - in the clinic, at home, or on-the-go.