The Kansas Bioscience Authority’s investment committee recommended on Monday that the authority grant nearly $425,000 to Lawrence-based Pinnacle Technology Inc.
The money would be used to further develop the company’s biosensors that can detect brain activity, said David Vranicar, president of Heartland BioVentures, the commercialization arm of the KBA. It would serve as a matching grant for the company’s $850,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The full board of the KBA could consider the committee’s recommendation during a meeting in May, Vranicar said.
Though Pinnacle Technology has shifted its focus several times over the years, it now primarily focuses on biomedical tools used for data acquisition in mice and rats, said Donna Johnson, Pinnacle’s CEO.
This particular project would measure real-time alcohol levels in the brain, Johnson said. It would improve the rate of data collection, which today is taken about every five minutes. The new technology would collect data every second.
The data can be used to determine, for example, the effects of alcohol on long-term sleep patterns, along with other brain activity, Johnson said.
It is based on technology originally developed in chemistry laboratories at Kansas University.
Since it began receiving KBA funding in 2008, the company has grown from eight or nine employees to 25, Johnson said. The KBA funds have been used to help grow her company’s marketing efforts to help sell the company’s products, she said.
“We’re really starting to move from a research company to a manufacturing and sales company, and the KBA has essentially allowed us to do that,” Johnson said.