Multiplex makes for a magnetic attraction

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

Jeffrey Bouley
SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif.—Mid-April saw Applied BioCode Inc.and Madison, Wis.-based EraGen Biosciences Inc. announce a strategicpartnership and license agreement that will provide EraGen with access toApplied BioCode's Barcoded Magnetic Bead technology and the CE-markedBioCode-1000 system. The technology is said to provide "a robust and reliable solutionfor development and clinical laboratory use of multiplexed infectious diseaseand genetic tests."
 
Additional financial and business terms of the deal were notdisclosed.
 
The combination of EraGen's patented chemistry withAppliedBioCode's Barcoded Magnetic Beads and BioCode-1000 system will provide apowerful testing platform for clinical laboratories in an important andvaluable segment of the molecular diagnostics market, according to Dr. WinstonHo, president of Applied BioCode, who adds, "Our strategic partnership andlicense agreement with EraGen in an important part of our efforts tocommercialize the Barcoded Magnetic Bead product globally."
 
For her part, Dr. Irene Hrusovsky, chairman and CEO ofEraGen, says the versatility of EraGen's DNA and RNA detection chemistry is acornerstone of her company's efforts to better serve and continually improveservice to clinical laboratory customers.
 
"We look forward to commercializing molecular diagnosticsthat address not only customers needing real-time molecular testing, but alsothose in the growing segment that need highly-multiplexed in-vitro diagnostics," she says. "Our relationship withApplied BioCode will help us reach those goals."
 
Discussions about such a partnership began a little over ayear ago, Ho and Maria Foster, vice president of commercial operations forEraGen, tell ddn. The companies had notworked together before, but were both attending and exhibiting at a conferenceand saw the potential for teaming up, Foster recalls. She calls it asynergistic relationship that is good for both companies in their efforts toprovide a total solution for customers.
 
Ho says that even before the conference, EraGen was on hisradar, having visited reference laboratory end users and hearing some of themspeak so highly of EraGen's MultiCode respiratory virus panel, "because itsassay 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 ourtechnology on the Barcoded Magnetic Beads and the Applied BioCode analyzer. Wecan provide three to four hours turnaround, where seven to eight hours is moretypical."
 
"Plus, this is a high-growth platform for infectious diseaseand genetic testing," she adds. "There are so many advantages to multiplexcompared to simple real-time, and I think that's why so many companies aregoing after the multiplex marketplace. It is our strategic intent to be a majorprovider of both real-time and highly multiplexed molecular diagnostic testsfor the clinical diagnostics marketplace."
 
Ho says his Applied BioCode's current Biocode-1000A candetect up to 128 targets simultaneously in a 96-microwell.
 
"It is a test menu-driven market, and we work with ourpartners to validate the technology and generate test panels," he says. "Wedevelop a good relationship with our partners and do not compete with ourpartners. The more successful our partners are, the more beads we will sell."
 
Applied BioCode is a privately-held biotechnology companythat develops, manufactures and markets highly multiplexed products tocustomers focused on molecular diagnostics, bioresearch and biomarkervalidation, maintaining an extensive collaborative network with universities,government laboratories and industrial partners. EraGen Biosciences develops,manufactures and markets molecular reagent products based on its patentedMultiCode platform chemistry, which it says "are the next generation of DNA-and RNA-based testing for the early detection of infectious diseases andgenetic-based conditions."

Jeffrey Bouley

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