Allele Diagnostics, Photon Biosciences Receive $765,092 in HSSA Grants

Allele Diagnostics, Photon Biosciences Receive $765,092 in HSSA Grants

Allele Diagnostics is the first local research company that has gone full circle within the Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) of Spokane County’s granting processes. It just received an HSSA SBIR Phase II matching grant of $500,000 last week related to Allele’s gene-centric rapid diagnostics assay. Prior to this grant, Allele had received a matching SBIR Phase I HSSA grant of $221,840 and started with a $5,000 grant-writing award.

“Allele Diagnostics is pleased to be partnered with the HSSA on this opportunity,” said Marcelo Morales, Allele Diagnostics’ Founder and CEO. “Allele Dx is committed to growing our presence in Spokane with the addition of exceptional talent that can further our vision of developing novel and innovative genetic diagnostics assays.

“HSSA is a key partner of the Spokane life sciences community and Allele Dx is thrilled to work together in advancing Spokane’s health care ecosystem,” Morales said. With the matching HSSA grant Allele Dx will have a final assay design, including probe design, software tools and implementation of laboratory methods to improve efficiency.

HSSA also granted a matching SBIR Phase I grant to Photon Biosciences LLC of $265,092 for its “Ultra-Sensitive Rapid Test for Detecting Bacterial Contamination in Platelets”. Photon also received earlier stage funding of $135,000 from HSSA.

“We believe that PBS technology will be a game-changer in the area of fluorescent probes for imaging and detection of analytes with an accuracy not possible with alternate methods,” said Chandima Bandaranayaka, Photon Biosciences CEO.

“The funding from HSSA will help us introduce our technology to solve other problems in the health care industry.” The outcome of the HSSA grant is that it allows Photon to hire and grow the company in Spokane, fully develop its PBS Microarray platform using PBS technology, apply for an SBIR Phase 11 grant and create a Phase II commercialization plan.

“Our HSSA Board’s unanimous passage of these two grants clearly meets our mission to fund scientific research and infrastructure to assist the growth of the life sciences industry in Spokane County and create economic development,” said Nancy L. Isserlis, HSSA Board Chair. “In both cases, these two start-up companies will be adding personnel.

“HSSA also holds an annual grant competition to help create access to health care through innovative and collaborative health care solutions in the County which will be announced in the late summer.”

HSSA has granted about $8 million in both research and Access to Care grants, and estimates that it has created over 500 jobs and over $100 million in total economic activity. This includes well over $35 million in extramural federal grant funding to Spokane. More information about all HSSA grants may be found at

About Our Board:

Nancy Isserlis, Attorney, Winston & Cashatt and HSSA Board Chair; Michael Wilson, Consultant and HSSA Grants Committee Chair; Jason Thackston, Senior Vice President of Energy Resources, Avista Corp. and HSSA Finance Committee Chair; Ph.D.; Daryll DeWald, Ph.D, Vice President, Health Sciences and Chancellor, WSU Spokane; Allison Glasunow, Ph.D, Perkins Coie LLP; Kevin Oldenburg, Ph.D., President, 2nd Sight Bioscience; Darryl Potyk, M.D., UW/GU Regional Director of Medical Education; David J. Vachon, Ph.D., CEO/Founder, Iasis Molecular Sciences, and Dr. Francisco Velàzquez, MD.