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Life sciences startup Firefly BioWorks Inc. has landed a $2 million contract from the National Cancer Institute to validate its microRNA assay technology and expand production capacity.

Cambridge’s Firefly BioWorks won the Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research award because of the emerging importance of MicroRNA as biomarkers in areas like early cancer detection, according to a press release. The company was co-founded by MIT researcher Patrick Doyle and Daniel Pregibon. Doyle, whose lab developed the technology, sits on the company’s science advisory board and Pregibon acts as Firefly BioWorks’ CTO.

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