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Multiplex makes for a magnetic attraction
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif.-Mid-April saw Applied BioCode Inc. and Madison, Wis.-based EraGen Biosciences Inc. announce a strategic partnership and license agreement that will provide EraGen with access to Applied BioCode's Barcoded Magnetic Bead technology and the CE-marked BioCode-1000 system. The technology is said to provide "a robust and reliable solution for development and clinical laboratory use of multiplexed infectious disease and genetic tests."
Additional financial and business terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The combination of EraGen's patented chemistry with AppliedBioCode's Barcoded Magnetic Beads and BioCode-1000 system will provide a powerful testing platform for clinical laboratories in an important and valuable segment of the molecular diagnostics market, according to Dr. Winston Ho, president of Applied BioCode, who adds, "Our strategic partnership and license agreement with EraGen in an important part of our efforts to commercialize the Barcoded Magnetic Bead product globally."
For her part, Dr. Irene Hrusovsky, chairman and CEO of EraGen, says the versatility of EraGen's DNA and RNA detection chemistry is a cornerstone of her company's efforts to better serve and continually improve service to clinical laboratory customers.
"We look forward to commercializing molecular diagnostics that address not only customers needing real-time molecular testing, but also those in the growing segment that need highly-multiplexed in-vitro diagnostics," she says. "Our relationship with Applied BioCode will help us reach those goals."
Discussions about such a partnership began a little over a year ago, Ho and Maria Foster, vice president of commercial operations for EraGen, tell ddn. The companies had not worked together before, but were both attending and exhibiting at a conference and saw the potential for teaming up, Foster recalls. She calls it a synergistic relationship that is good for both companies in their efforts to provide a total solution for customers.
Ho says that even before the conference, EraGen was on his radar, having visited reference laboratory end users and hearing some of them speak so highly of EraGen's MultiCode respiratory virus panel, "because its assay kit is not only easy to use, but also gives rapid and accurate results."
"We've had multiplexing technology and deals in the past," Foster notes, "but what's different about this is a workflow advantage with our technology on the Barcoded Magnetic Beads and the Applied BioCode analyzer. We can provide three to four hours turnaround, where seven to eight hours is more typical."
"Plus, this is a high-growth platform for infectious disease and genetic testing," she adds. "There are so many advantages to multiplex compared to simple real-time, and I think that's why so many companies are going after the multiplex marketplace. It is our strategic intent to be a major provider of both real-time and highly multiplexed molecular diagnostic tests for the clinical diagnostics marketplace."
Ho says his Applied BioCode's current Biocode-1000A can detect up to 128 targets simultaneously in a 96-microwell.
"It is a test menu-driven market, and we work with our partners to validate the technology and generate test panels," he says. "We develop a good relationship with our partners and do not compete with our partners. The more successful our partners are, the more beads we will sell."
Applied BioCode is a privately-held biotechnology company that develops, manufactures and markets highly multiplexed products to customers focused on molecular diagnostics, bioresearch and biomarker validation, maintaining an extensive collaborative network with universities, government laboratories and industrial partners. EraGen Biosciences develops, manufactures and markets molecular reagent products based on its patented MultiCode platform chemistry, which it says "are the next generation of DNA- and RNA-based testing for the early detection of infectious diseases and genetic-based conditions."