updated 11/8/2010 5:45:26 AM ET 2010-11-08T10:45:26

LINTHICUM, Md., Nov. 5, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a contract to develop a new bio-defense system capable of rapidly determining if a person has been exposed to a biological threat. The award was made under BARDA's Innovative Platform Technologies program.

BioCHAMP-RSP (Confirmation of Harmful Agents by MassTag PCR – Rapid Screening Platform) will provide an innovative system capability to simultaneously identify over 30 pathogens, bacterial and viral, in human samples.

Under the one-year $9.6 million contract, Northrop Grumman will design, assemble and test two BioCHAMP-RSP prototypes. The system will allow first responders the ability to rapidly provide triage to people who were exposed to biological threats and appropriately allocate medical resources.

"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," says Dave Tilles, director of the Homeland Security and CBRNE business unit of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "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."

The prototype units will provide the necessary insight into further development of the technology in subsequent stages, which may lead to a commercial system, Tilles added.

The Northrop Grumman-led team includes the Center for Infection and Immunity of the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, New York, N.Y.; Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, Calif.; Wadsworth Center New York State Department of Health, Albany, N.Y.; and KAI Research, Rockville, Md. 

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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