The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $1.5 million in research grants to Clinical Sensors, a startup in North Carolina developing a diagnostic for sepsis.

The grants will enable the company to continue development and demonstration of its point-of-care device that directly measures a patient’s blood nitric oxide level within a few seconds.

Nitric oxide is connected with the progression of sepsis, a life-threatening illness where early and rapid recognition is critical to accelerate life-saving care.