WATERLOO, Ontario, April 10 -- Virtek Vision International Inc., developer of precision laser-based technology for the aerospace, metal fabrication, construction, biotechnology and glass industries, announced it has been awarded a $1.5 million joint grant from Genome Canada.
The grant will be used primarily to develop Virtek's fiber optic nucleic acid (FONA) biosensor technology; it will also fund research to validate FONA technology with strategic partner Alex MacKenzie of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. FONA technology, which has the potential to measure the structure, amount or activity of DNA in a wide range of situations, will be used in this project to diagnose and ultimately to search for drugs for inherited pediatric disorders that are currently untreatable.
The federally funded matching grant was peer reviewed by an international panel of leading genomics scientists and awarded to the multidisciplinary research team of scientists at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and FONA Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Virtek Vision International. With additional support from the University of Toronto and the University of Manitoba, the project will initially focus on developing FONA technology as a rapid and cost-effective method for newborn screening.