Multiplex makes for a magnetic attraction

Applied BioCode announces strategic technology partnership, license agreement with EraGen Biosciences

Jeffrey Bouley
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SANTAFE SPRINGS, Calif.-Mid-April saw Applied BioCode Inc. and Madison,Wis.-based EraGen Biosciences Inc. announce a strategic partnership andlicense agreement that will provide EraGen with access to AppliedBioCode's Barcoded Magnetic Bead technology and the CE-markedBioCode-1000 system. The technology is said to provide "a robust andreliable solution for development and clinical laboratory use ofmultiplexed infectious disease and genetic tests."

Additional financial and business terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Thecombination of EraGen's patented chemistry with AppliedBioCode'sBarcoded Magnetic Beads and BioCode-1000 system will provide a powerfultesting platform for clinical laboratories in an important and valuablesegment of the molecular diagnostics market, according to Dr. WinstonHo, president of Applied BioCode, who adds, "Our strategic partnershipand license agreement with EraGen in an important part of our efforts tocommercialize the Barcoded Magnetic Bead product globally."

For herpart, Dr. Irene Hrusovsky, chairman and CEO of EraGen, says theversatility of EraGen's DNA and RNA detection chemistry is a cornerstoneof her company's efforts to better serve and continually improveservice to clinical laboratory customers.

"We look forward tocommercializing molecular diagnostics that address not only customersneeding real-time molecular testing, but also those in the growingsegment that need highly-multiplexed in-vitro diagnostics," she says."Our relationship with Applied BioCode will help us reach those goals."

Discussionsabout such a partnership began a little over a year ago, Ho and MariaFoster, vice president of commercial operations for EraGen, tell ddn.The companies had not worked together before, but were both attendingand exhibiting at a conference and saw the potential for teaming up,Foster recalls. She calls it a synergistic relationship that is good forboth companies in their efforts to provide a total solution forcustomers.

Ho says that even before the conference, EraGen was on hisradar, having visited reference laboratory end users and hearing someof 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 andaccurate results."

"We've had multiplexing technology and deals inthe past," Foster notes, "but what's different about this is a workflowadvantage with our technology on the Barcoded Magnetic Beads and theApplied BioCode analyzer. We can provide three to four hours turnaround,where seven to eight hours is more typical."

"Plus, this is ahigh-growth platform for infectious disease and genetic testing," sheadds. "There are so many advantages to multiplex compared to simplereal-time, and I think that's why so many companies are going after themultiplex marketplace. It is our strategic intent to be a major providerof both real-time and highly multiplexed molecular diagnostic tests forthe clinical diagnostics marketplace."

Ho says his Applied BioCode's current Biocode-1000A can detect up to 128 targets simultaneously in a 96-microwell.

"Itis a test menu-driven market, and we work with our partners to validatethe technology and generate test panels," he says. "We develop a goodrelationship with our partners and do not compete with our partners. Themore successful our partners are, the more beads we will sell."

AppliedBioCode is a privately-held biotechnology company that develops,manufactures and markets highly multiplexed products to customersfocused on molecular diagnostics, bioresearch and biomarker validation,maintaining an extensive collaborative network with universities,government laboratories and industrial partners. EraGen Biosciencesdevelops, manufactures and markets molecular reagent products based onits patented MultiCode platform chemistry, which it says "are the nextgeneration of DNA- and RNA-based testing for the early detection ofinfectious diseases and genetic-based conditions." 

Jeffrey Bouley

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