The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded Ibis Biosciences Inc., the Carlsbad-based unit of Abbott Laboratories, a $7.2 million contract to develop its PUMA Biosensor system.

The Pentagon announced the award June 3. Work will be done in Carlsbad and last through April.

The Defense Department describes PUMA as a new, point-of-care, handheld device suitable for use in the field with molecular diagnostics for screening viruses, respiratory pathogens and bio threats.

Abbott (NYSE: ABT) bought Isis in 2008.