FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Frederick, MD — February 9, 2011 — Akonni Biosystems, a molecular diagnostics (MDx) company that develops rapid, low-cost and highly scalable solutions for infectious disease testing, today announced it has signed a license agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
The license agreement provides Akonni full access, under patents owned or licensed by USAMRIID and its affiliates, to the nucleic acid sequences, primers and probes for many of the most important biological threat agents. Having access to this content will allow Akonni Biosystems to more rapidly commercialize a family of highly multiplexed tests for research and in vitro diagnostics uses in global bio-security applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We are excited to partner with USAMRIID on developing a series of low-cost, multiplex testing products to protect our war-fighters, first responders and citizens from many of the most dangerous bio-threat agents known to man,” says Akonni’s CEO, Dr. Charles Daitch. “Our engineering, manufacturing and quality systems expertise coupled with USAMRIID’s expertise in biological assay development creates a very powerful combination for delivering a new generation of rapid, low-cost bio-security products to the marketplace.”
With this new content, Akonni plans to develop a family of products that expands its market presence beyond tests that detect infectious diseases – e.g., MRSA, MDR-TB, or antiviral-resistant influenza. The new markets include global bio-security, where the rapid and low-cost detection of Category A bio-threat bacterial and viral agents is critical. Using Akonni’s TruArray platform for rapid, low-cost testing, the products will also incorporate Akonni TruTip™ kits for ultra-rapid extraction of DNA and RNA and its TruDx® 2000 platform for optical detection. Targeted for availability in 2012, the products will be field-deployable via a mobile laboratory or field trailer, and will test for multiple organisms simultaneously in both clinical and environmental sample matrices.
Akonni also plans to port the USAMRIID content to its recently announced ultra-high throughput screening platform, TruSentry™, a system that leverages the capabilities of Tecan’s Freedom EVO® 200 liquid handling system. The TruSentry system can test for tens to hundreds of diseases at the same time on a microarray, and process up to 3000 samples per day.
This arrangement with USAMRID complements Akonni’s existing patent portfolio covering the manufacturing and use of gel-drop microarrays for infectious disease and other human health applications.
For more information on Akonni devices for ultra-rapid sample extraction, high-throughput screening or near-point-of-care molecular or immunoassay testing, please visit www.akonni.com.
Akonni Biosystems was founded in 2003 and has over 20 patents issued with 13 others pending. The company’s core technology is based on work developed at Argonne National Laboratory and the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology and utilizes gel-drop array technologies optimized for medical applications. Supported by a series of government grants and contracts from NIH, CDC, DOE, DOD, NIJ, and NSF, the company has significantly advanced the original technology by improving the system’s capabilities from sample preparation to final result. Commercial products and products in its near-term pipeline include rapid sample preparation methodologies for nucleic acid extraction (TruTip) and multiplex panel assays for detecting multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), upper respiratory infections, viral encephalitis, and hospital-acquired infections (MRSA).
USAMRIID, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Biological Defense Research Program, and plays a key role in national defense and in infectious disease research. The Institute conducts basic and applied research on biological threats resulting in medical solutions (such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to protect the warfighter. While USAMRIID’s primary mission is focused on the military, its research often has applications that benefit society as a whole. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. For more information, visit www.usamriid.army.mil
[The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.]
TruDiagnosis Systems, TruDx Readers, TruArray Tests, TruTip Kits, Primers, Lysis and Binding Buffers, Wash Buffers and Elution Buffers: For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. No claim or representation is intended to provide information for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a disease.