Northrop Grumman given contract to develop biothreat detection system

The U.S. government recently awarded a contract to the Northrop Grumman Corporation to develop a system capable of rapidly determining whether or not a person has been exposed to a biological threat.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority made the contract under its Innovative Technologies program.

Under terms of the one year, $9.6 million contract, Northrop Grumman will design, assemble and test BioCHAMP-RSP (Confirmation of Harmful Agents by MassTag PCR – Rapid Screening Process). Two prototypes are expected to be built.

The prototypes are expected to provide insight into further development of the technology in later states, which could lead to a commercial system.

The system is meant to provide triage to those that were exposed to biological threats so that medical resources can be properly distributed.

"Northrop Grumman's BioCHAMP-RSP will be a critical tool to respond to a terrorist threat or pandemic outbreaks by enabling the detection of infectious agents within hours, not days, as is currently the case," Dave Tilles, director of the Homeland Security and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear explosive business unit of Northrop Grumman's electronic systems sector, said.

"BioCHAMP-RSP represents an innovative leap in post-event triage support, which complements BARDA's mission to develop technologies to meet these biological threats and safeguard our nation," Tilles said.