Research Foundation News

April 11, 2024

NSF awards $275K grant to Amplified Sciences to develop new platform of ultrasensitive clinical diagnostics

State has awarded $50K matching grant through the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s Applied Research Institute

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The National Science Foundation has awarded a $275,000 Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to Amplified Sciences. The clinical-stage life sciences diagnostic company is developing tests for early, more accurate detection of challenging diseases, starting with pancreatic cancer.

Amplified Sciences has received a Phase I matching grant of $50,000 from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.’s Applied Research Institute.

CEO Diana Caldwell said the funding will support critical development of Amplified Sciences’ novel ultrasensitive optical reporter platform technology.

“This, our second SBIR award, will enable further development of multiplexing capabilities for pancreatic cancer panels and beyond,” Caldwell said. “We are excited to be awarded this highly competitive NSF SBIR grant. This brings our total of nondilutive funding to over $1 million.”

Amplified Sciences also recently received investments worth $108,000 from the Flywheel Fund. In 2023 the company received a Phase 1 SBIR grant of approximately $400,000 from the National Cancer Institute and a $50,000 match from the state of Indiana to develop pancreatic cancer risk stratification tests. It was named to the Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School’s Most Fundable Companies list in 2021 and to the New York University Stern School of Business’ Endless Frontier Labs life science cohort in 2022.

The Purdue innovations 

Amplified Sciences’ diagnostic tests are based on technology invented by V. Jo Davisson, professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology in Purdue University’s College of Pharmacy and a faculty member of the Purdue Institute for Cancer Research and the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery. Davisson serves as the company’s chief scientific officer. The company licenses Davisson’s intellectual property through the Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization.

Facts about pancreatic cancer  

In its Cancer Facts & Figures 2023 report, the American Cancer Society estimated that more than 64,000 Americans were expected to be diagnosed with new cases of pancreatic cancer in 2023. It estimated that more than 50,000 would die from the disease in 2023.

Pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms, like jaundice, severe abdominal pain, weight loss and vomiting, don’t appear until advanced stages of the disease. If a diagnosis is made at an advanced stage, treatments including surgery and pharmaceuticals seldom produce a cure. The five-year relative survival rate is 12% for all patients; for those diagnosed with localized cancer, the rate is 44%. 

About Amplified Sciences

Amplified Sciences is a clinical-stage life science diagnostics startup focused on detecting and preempting the risks of debilitating diseases, thus providing health care professionals the ability to treat patients earlier with better outcomes. The company’s ultrasensitive chemistry platform leverages technology licensed from Purdue University, and its headquarters is in West Lafayette, Indiana. Its lead assay has published clinical evidence in pancreatic cancer. To learn more about Amplified Sciences, visit 

About Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university’s academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. In fiscal year 2023, the office reported 150 deals finalized with 203 technologies signed, 400 disclosures received and 218 issued U.S. patents. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Contact for more information.

Writer/Media contact: Steve Martin,

Source: Diana Caldwell,

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