BEVERLY, Mass., Oct. 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LexaGene Holdings, Inc., (OTCQB: LXXGF; TSX-V: LXG) (“LexaGene” or the “Company”), a molecular diagnostics company that has commercialized an instrument for automated multiplex PCR testing, today announced it has successfully detected anthrax spores on the MiQLab™ System.
Dr. Jack Regan, CEO and Founder of LexaGene stated, “We are now progressing to the second stage of the Army CRADA, during which the MiQLab’s sensitivity and quantitative ability for biothreat detection will be tested at the Army’s DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. Due to the Army’s facility and personnel availability, these studies are planned to begin during the week of November 15th, and we will ship multiple systems to the Army for this start date.”
Spores are particularly concerning for biothreat detection, as stated by Basta and Annamaraju, “B. anthracis is a gram-positive spore-forming bacteria that are commonly found in the soil of endemic areas. It is one of the most common agents used in biological warfare. Many factors make B. anthracis a good bioweapon. Its endospores can be placed into food, water, powder, and sprays, spreading the anthrax infection without anyone’s knowledge, as endospores are microscopic, cannot be tasted or felt. In 2001, anthrax spores were used as a bioweapon in the U.S. They were distributed into letters delivered by the United States Postal system spreading anthrax infection among 22 mail handlers and customers. Anthrax bioterrorism attacks can take several other forms. B. anthracis endospores can be released into food and water, sprayed from the air or high buildings, or even carried on clothes or shoes. B. anthracis endospores can cast a high risk of misuse and pose severe threats to public safety and health.”1
Dr. Manoj Nair, Director Applications & Assay Development at LexaGene commented, “For the first stage of the Army CRADA, DEVCOM sent LexaGene inactivated anthrax spores, so we could internally determine whether LexaGene’s MiQLab can successfully detect them. In contrast to actively growing cells, a spore is the most dormant stage of a bacterium. They are formed in response to harsh conditions so they can survive until conditions improve. Spores have very thick walls that are hard to break, making detecting the genetic material inside the spore difficult. Only very high-quality sample preparation procedures can successfully break open spore walls and allow for the genetic material inside to be detected by PCR especially when the spores are present at low concentrations. I’m pleased to report the MiQLab’s sample preparation is robust enough to successfully detect the anthrax spores from the delivered samples.”
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Dr. Jack Regan
Chief Executive Officer & Chairman
About LexaGene Holdings Inc.
LexaGene is a molecular diagnostics company that develops molecular diagnostic systems for pathogen detection and genetic testing for other molecular markers for on-site rapid testing in veterinary diagnostics, food safety and for use in open-access markets such as clinical research, agricultural testing, and biodefense. End-users simply need to collect a sample, load it onto the instrument with a sample preparation cartridge, enter sample ID and press ‘go’. The MiQLab™ system delivers excellent sensitivity, specificity, and breadth of detection and can return results in approximately two hours. The unique open-access feature is designed for custom testing so that end-users can load their own real-time PCR assays onto the instrument to target any genetic target of interest.
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