Nanosphere Gets the Nod Government Supports Northbrook-Based Firm as It Continues Bioterrorism Research

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Byline: Anna Marie Kukec Daily Herald Business Writer

Northbrook-based Nanosphere Inc. won government approval Wednesday to continue its research related to tests to identify biological toxins, including the highly poisonous ricin and botulinium.

The $2.5 million award comes at a time when recent national terrorism alerts and fears of bioterrorism have persisted since Sept. 11, 2001.

The 4-year-old nanotechnology start-up has been quietly working on bioterrorism warfare projects since 2002, when it received a contract from the U.S. Government Technical Support Working Group, under the Department of Defense.

The firm has been working on products that combine chemistry and equipment for use anywhere outside a laboratory and still provide fast and accurate results, said Vijaya Vasista, Nanosphere's chief operating officer.

"Our contract was milestone based, and we have met those milestones, and they were essentially pleased with our work," she said.

Vasista declined to provide details of the contract's total worth or how long it will continue because much of project is classified.

Along that line of work, Nanosphere also received a $750,000 grant Wednesday from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. …