Austin, TX—June 30 2014 – Spot On Sciences has announced a collaboration with Dr. Brian McFarlin from the University of North Texas to support his research entitled, “Comparison of Blood Biomarkers between Traditional Blood Spots, HemaSpot, and Serum in Women of Differing Obesity Status.”

Dr. McFarlin’s research focuses on two main areas: 1) the physiological and immunologic consequences of weight gain and loss; and 2) the use of nutritional countermeasures to maximize immune health after exercise. Since 2004, Dr. McFarlin has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and obtained more than $1.5 million in externally-funded research grants.

“We have been pleased to work with Spot On Sciences as part of this exciting research,” said Dr. McFarlin. “Comparing the HemaSpot was important for us because it makes it significantly easier to collect blood samples from our patient subjects and, from the work to date, we have found that using HemaSpot is much easier than using traditional blood spot cards,” said Dr. McFarlin.

The HemaSpot™ blood collection device, developed by scientists at Spot On Sciences, is based on dried blood spot (DBS) technology. This patent pending device allows for patient blood sampling to be performed anywhere the patient is without the need for an intravenous blood draw. This simple device makes blood sampling convenient for the patient, improves the quality of the blood sample, reduces repeat analyses, and in some cases can be stored for years at room temperature.


Spot On Sciences Wins $750K DARPA SBIR Phase II Option Award

Austin, TX June 16, 2014: Spot On Sciences, Inc., an Austin-based medical device company, has been awarded a two-year, $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II option contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to continue developing and commercializing a transportable blood sampling device designed for general use.

Spot On Sciences completed product development at the end of its Phase I & II, $1.1 million program. The Phase II option of $750,000 will be directed toward scaling-up manufacture, quantitation methods and producing field-use data.

The HemaSpot™ device, developed by scientists at Spot On Sciences under a DARPA SBIR Phase I award, is based on dried blood spot (DBS) technology, which is best known for newborn screening. The patented device allows blood sample collection to be performed away from a lab, improves sample quality, simplifies collection, and allows for stable sample storage for years at room temperature. Recognizing the potential of the HemaSpot™ device for improving point-of-care testing of military personnel, DARPA is supporting further research.

“Receiving additional funding from the option contract is key to our efforts for ramping up our manufacturing efforts,” said Dr. Jeanette Hill, Spot On Sciences’ Chief Executive Officer. “We know from customer feedback that meeting a lower price point and improving and demonstrating analyte quantitation methods will ensure widespread adoption of our products.”

The single-use HemaSpot™ device uses a finger stick to collect and dry two drops of blood within a protective cartridge. Once dried, the sample is stable at room temperature and can be safely and easily shipped to a diagnostic test site for analysis. Traditional DBS involves a multi-step process that is subject to errors from moisture, contamination, and sample loss. HemaSpot’s™ innovative design addresses these problems, streamlining the entire process. Common disease markers can be measured including proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules.

“We are seeing real traction around the world for infectious diseases and medical research, especially in the area of HIV testing,” continued Dr. Hill. “This contract will help drive those efforts as we help solve accessibility, transport and sample quality issues in the field.”

About Spot On Sciences

Spot On Sciences, Inc., located in Austin, Texas, is a medical device company that is actively developing innovative methods for collecting and storing biological fluid samples. The company’s current product, HemaSpot™, allows for simplified blood sample collection and storage for dried blood spot (DBS) testing. More than 20 billion blood tests are performed annually worldwide with in vitro diagnostics showing sales of an estimated US$28.6 billion worldwide. Spot On Sciences aspires to change existing paradigms in this mature market with technologies that simplify processes, save time and reduce costs. The firm’s success has been recognized with many awards including the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award (2011), SXSW Interactive Accelerator (2013), RISE Global Pitch Competition (2013), 1776 Challenge Cup – Health category (2014) and the SXSW Austin Venture Awards (2014).


Spot On Sciences Announces Collaboration with Brown University for HIV Research

Austin, TX—February 10, 2014 – Spot On Sciences has announced a collaboration with Rami Kantor, MD to support his research entitled, “HIV Drug Resistance Testing using HemaSpot, a Novel Blood Storage Device.” Dr. Kantor is an internal medicine and infectious diseases physician, Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brown University. His main research interests are HIV diversity, molecular epidemiology and the evolution of drug resistance to antiretroviral drugs including HIV variants that predominate in resource-limited settings and in developing countries, where the majority of the AIDS epidemic is located.

The HemaSpot™ blood sampling device, developed by scientists at Spot On Sciences, is based on dried blood spot (DBS) technology. The patent pending device allows blood sample collection to be performed away from a lab, improves sample quality, simplifies collection, and allows for stable sample storage for years at room temperature. These product features make an ideal fit for blood sampling efforts in resource scarce areas of the world.


Spot On Sciences Targets Scaling Up in 2014

Simplify blood sample collection by using HemaSpot to collect a sample from home by a finger stick – no more hour long waits at a lab before my coffee and while I am missing all of my morning meetings! –Dr. Jeanette Hill

It’s the day many of us resolve to do better. We’ll make time for family, pass up the cookie aisle in the grocery and hit the gym more regularly. The following healthcare startups CEOs are brave enough to make their resolutions public, sharing them with MedCity and adding an accountability factor. Some challenge the status quo, some aim to complete clinical trials, make an exit. Several promise themselves more personal time. One even aspires to do that accomplishment we all envy: Take more naps.

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Spot On Sciences at the Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting

Poster to be presented at AMP’s annual event in Phoenix, AZ – Nov 12-15, 2013

Connect with Spot On sciences at the annual meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology in Phoenix, Arizona during November 12-15, 2013. Dr. Jeanette Hill, CEO of Spot On Sciences, will be presenting a poster entitled “Analysis of Circulating miRNA from Dried Blood Spots.

This event is targeted to “…clinical practitioners, research scientists, medical education professionals, and students and postdoctoral fellows with an interest in gaining a basic and/or advanced understanding of diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic approaches in the areas of hematopathology (leukemias, lymphomas, lymphoproliferative disorders), solid tumors and soft tissue tumors, infectious diseases (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic), and inherited diseases, with the goal of improving patient care, improving clinical practice, and enabling constructive interactions with pathologists, other health care practitioners, and laboratory directors and technologists.”

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Top 10 Trends from AACC 2013 Expo

SOS team members recently attended the annual expo for the American Association of Clinical Chemistry. Here are their favorite trends and take-always (in no particular order) from the forefronts of clinical chemistry:

  • Retail health clinics– There are currently ~ 1000 “store-front” clinics and will increase 4-fold in the next few years. A main driver is customer demand for higher access and flexible scheduling and correlates with increased focus on patient-centered care.
  • miRNA– Definitely cannot call introns “junk DNA” anymore. miRNA is highly conserved across mammalian species and is expected to be important as diagnostic biomarkers for a wide range of diseases. Circulating miRNA in blood – whether as whole blood, plasma, serum or exosomes – is a key source for clinical diagnostics.
  • Non-coding RNA – John Mattick gave a very interesting talk about the important role of non-coding RNA & DNA in human cognitive evolution. Very much not junk DNA anymore.

  • Newborn screening (NBS)– 350 metabolic disorders that affect ~ 1% of newborns are known and many can be detected by screening using a heel stick and dried blood spots on filter paper. 30-40 tests from a few drops of blood are routinely performed by LC-MS/MS and have saved many lives over the last few decades.
  • Oral fluids – Due to ease of sample collection, more and more tests are being performed from saliva. The pH is typically lower (pH 5.5 – 7.9) and so basic drugs/analytes show higher concentrations and usually in the parent form with few metabolites. Contamination from residual oral drugs and smoking can occur. Cocaine and other stimulants cause dry mouth and this reduced saliva can cause difficulty in getting sufficient sample volume.
  • Cell phones – 7 billion cell phones exist with estimated access to 96% of the world. Much interest in using this capacity for increasing access to doctors and diagnostic test results.
  • LC-MS/MS – Riding on the success for NBS tests and pharma research, LC-MS/MS use for clinical testing is increasing rapidly. Focus is on streamlining work flow and methods for robust use in clinical labs, especially smaller labs and for point of care (POC). Getting regulatory clearance is challenging. One group reported that they “locked down” a LC-MS/MS instrument so that only one assay could be run; a very expensive solution for regulatory approval (LC-MS/MS system costs >$200,000).
  • Dried blood spot (DBS) – Also driven by NBS successes, DBS sample collection is attractive for low-resource and remote locations – including collection from home. DBS is being used for pediatric clinical trials due to low sample volume requirements.
  • Laboratories in developing countries – Setting up and running labs in low resource areas continues to be difficult for many reasons including irregular electricity, lack of specific reagents for instruments and the need for sick patients to travel long distances. Additionally patients often don’t wait around for test results, even for as little as 2 hours.
  • AND lastly,Molecular and Lateral Flow –It had been several years since we last attended AACC and it was so exciting yet a little exhausting and overwhelming to see the huge advancements in MDx. I mean, WOW, a real time Palm PCR, a high-speed PCR system delivering results in less than 30 minutes?

The beauty of the AACC meeting is that you can see it ALL – current, future and even trends beyond clinical chemistry. Can’t wait for next year!

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Spot On Sciences presents at AACC 2013 in Houston

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) has accepted two poster presentations from Spot On Sciences for the 2013 exposition in Houston, Texas. The posters address dried blood spot analysis in the areas of filter paper comparisons using mass spectrometry and reducing the hematocrit effect for DBS. Read the abstractshere.

AACC is an international scientific/medical society of clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists and other individuals involved with clinical chemistry and related disciplines. Founded in 1948, the society has over 8,000 members and is headquartered in Washington, DC. The AACC annual meeting and clinical lab expo is the world’s largest gathering for laboratory medicine.

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Capital of Innovation Series to Feature Spot On Sciences

Women are innovating like never before, and this episode introduces viewers to some of Austin’s most intriguing female entrepreneurs. Their accomplishments include a medical device called HemaSpot that could have a global impact on health care.

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