Friday, January 15th, 2021

DTRA, DIU award $4.6M to PercuSense for development of early detection system for toxic chemical exposure

© Shutterstock

Under a $4.6 million contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and Defense Innovation United (DIU), PercuSense has been tapped to develop a continuous biosensor system for early detection of potential toxic chemical exposure among soldiers and first responders.

PercuSense, a biosensor and digital health company, has already created a continuous monitoring platform. Building off of that, the goal for this system is to be deployable on-person and capable of rapidly identifying chemical exposure in real-time. Beyond situational awareness, the partners hope this will reduce threats and drive treatment interventions.

“We are grateful to be recognized by DTRA for our cutting-edge technology, our experienced team, and our history of solutions-oriented development,” Brian Kannard, CEO of PercuSense, said. “This award will support our mission to be the leading biosensor company, providing simple solutions to monitor critical biomarkers for a variety of diseases, environments, and conditions. This support will enable us to expand our sensing platform and make a positive impact on military service members and first responders with rapid identification of exposure to toxic chemicals.”

The DTRA is an agency of the Department of Defense (DoD) designed to support counters to weapons of mass destruction. It both manages and integrates DoD chemical and biological defense science and technology programs, which in turn help innovate among public health programs. The DIU helps accelerate the adoption of such commercial technology throughout the military, while similarly encouraging innovation.

Money from the pair will go toward developing sensing electrodes capable of identifying the consumption of toxins like nerve agents, opioids, and mustard agents.

“Since its founding, PercuSense has been focused on developing sensing technology aimed at continuously and simultaneously measuring physiological relevant molecules through a novel minimally invasive sensor system,” Rajiv Shah, founder and chairman of PercuSense, said. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with DTRA and DIU to leverage this technology to support development of a wearable sensor capable of detecting the early signs of toxic chemical exposure. The project is especially gratifying when looking at the opportunity to protect the men and women of the military who are tasked with protecting all of us.”