DNA Chip Development for Drug Resistant Malaria Strains

Period of Performance: 07/01/2000 - 06/30/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Hyseq, Inc.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Principal Investigator


Hyseq, in collaboration with the Malaria Initiative Program at Harvard University's School of Public Health, is seeking to determine the feasibility for developing a DNA chip as a diagnostic tool for malaria genotyping and polymorphism identification under a Phase I SBIR grant. Hyseq possesses DNA chip technology that has accurately tested polymorphisms in HIV and human DNA, and plans to apply this technology to malaria strains. Harvard's Malaria Initiative will supply genornic DNA samples of the most prevalent malaria strain, Plasmodzium falciparum, to Hyseq for the development of a DNA chip as a diagnostic tool for use in the field, research, and by clinicians in order to identify and characterize drug resistant stins of malaria and their mutations (e.g., resistance to cholorquine, fanzidar, etc). The aims of Phase I research are: l) to develop protocols and components for rapid diagnosis of drug resistant strains of P. falciparum using Hyseq's proprietary DNA chip technology, and 2) apply the developed chip to detect known mutations associated with the DHFR and pfindri drug-resistant genes and determine the efficacy and accuracy of the chips performance. The long term objective of the research and development is to develop an inexpensive DNA chip for rapid diagnosis and genotyping of drug-resistant malaria to optimize the best suited drug therapy. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: A specially designed malaria DNA chip for rapid, inexpensive, and accurate diagnosis of multiple drug resistant strains to assist proper patient treatment in the field, clinics, and hospitals. In addition, the chip will greatly benefit research organiztions to monitor drug-resistant strains in populations, map evolvittg mutant strains during the course of infection, and discover of new mutations.