Thursday, April 24, 2014

U.S. Court Finds in Favor of BioVigilant in Patent Litigation Dispute with TSI

Azbil BioVigilant, Inc., inventors of Instantaneous Microbial Detection™, announced that the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona dismissed the patent infringement lawsuit brought by TSI against the Company. In doing so, the Court found in Azbil BioVigilant’s favor, holding that U.S. Patent No. 6,831,279 is invalid. The ‘279 patent is entitled, “Laser diode-excited biological particle detection system.”

The Court’s dismissal follows a ruling reached by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year where, for a third time, it rejected TSI’s arguments in the reexamination and found that TSI’s patent is not patentable.

PositiveID and Leidos Awarded $4B Defense Threat Reduction Agency Contract

PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID"), a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, today announced that its teaming partner Leidos (f/k/a/ Science Applications International Corporation) was awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency ("DTRA") to conduct research and development to combat weapons of mass destruction. The multiple-award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity ("ID/IQ") contract has a five-year base period of performance, a five year option, and a total value of approximately $4 billion for all awardees, if all options are exercised. The contract was awarded under the Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction Research and Technology Development ID/IQ contract.

In October 2012, PositiveID entered into a Teaming Agreement with Leidos, which paired Leidos' system engineering and integration capabilities with PositiveID's bio-threat detection technologies. PositiveID will offer both its Firefly Dx handheld diagnostic system ("Firefly") as well as its M-BAND (Microfluidics-based Bioagent Networked Detector) airborne bio-threat detector as part of the Teaming Agreement.

PositiveID's M-BAND (Microfluidic Bio-agent Autonomous Networked Detector) continuously and autonomously analyzes air samples for the detection of biological airborne threats in the form of bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The technology was developed under contract with the "DHS" Science & Technology directorate, and is designed to detect the release of pathogens into the air as part of a defense against potential terrorist attacks.

PositiveID's Firefly Dx is a point-of-need, handheld system designed to deliver molecular diagnostic results using real-time TaqMan® PCR (polymerase chain reaction) chemistry. Firefly is being developed to meet the growing need in healthcare and molecular diagnostics markets for more rapid and accurate point-of-need diagnostics that will enable hospitals, physicians and other providers to save lives. Firefly can derive results from a sample in less than 20 minutes, at the point of need, compared to two to four hours for a lab device, which would enable accurate diagnostics leading to more rapid and effective treatment than what is currently available with existing systems.

William J. Caragol, Chairman and CEO of PositiveID, stated, "We are very pleased that our teaming partner, Leidos, has been awarded this significant ID/IQ contract, and we look forward to demonstrating the ability of our Firefly and M-BAND technologies to combat weapons of mass destruction."

DTRA is the U.S. Department of Defense's Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction. The agency's experts address the entire spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive threats. Under the contract, Leidos will perform research and technology development to provide scientific and technological solutions to meet the DoD's non-proliferation, counterproliferation, and consequence management objectives. Leidos is one of seven contractors eligible to compete for task orders under the contract.

PositiveID and Leidos are parties to a contractor team arrangement pursuant to the Federal Acquisition Regulations and are not joint venturers, partners in a legal partnership or otherwise affiliated.

Vivione Receives Go Ahead from US Department of Agriculture for Its Rapid E. coli STEC Kit

Vivione Biosciences Inc. ("Vivione") is pleased to announced that, following a lengthy and vigorous process, the USDA FSIS (US Department of Agriculture Food Safety & Inspection Services) has issued Vivione a Letter of No Objection ("LNO") for its RAPID-B non-O157 Shigatoxigenic group of Escherichia coli ("STEC") Test Kit, intended for the rapid screening of beef trim and ground beef that may contain O-antigen positive Non-O157 STEC.

The Test Kit is used with Vivione's RAPID-B platform and is designed to provide companies with a faster result than existing options. Testing is accomplished by adding RAPID-B proprietary reagents to an enriched sample and then running the sample on the RAPID-B instrument. Analysis of the sample by the instrument is accomplished in minutes. The decision to adopt a new diagnostic testing platform is a serious decision for any company and the process needs to be absolutely trustworthy. Today's USDA FSIS designation enables companies to acquire and deploy the RAPID-B process with complete confidence that RAPID-B meets some of the world's toughest, most demanding testing standards. The LNO process involves the assessment of key platform parameters to ensure satisfactory performance and the ability to consistently produce accurate results.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), an estimated 265,000 STEC infections occur each year in the United States. The importance of speed and sensitivity in detecting the presence of certain E. coli bacteria cannot be overestimated. E. coli contamination can have very serious economic and safety consequences to the meat industry, as well as immense public health implications. Any product containing these bacteria that inadvertently reaches the market would be subject to recall, with the likelihood of producers suffering both significant financial and reputational harm. As a result, meat producers currently hold inventory sufficiently to ensure that the product is not contaminated. The sooner a negative result is received, the faster the product can be released for shipment. The bottom line for producers is that the faster a result is received, the faster a producer can respond or ship their product to market.

"This LNO designation is an important step for us as we continue to expand in the food safety market," said Vivione's Chief Executive Officer Kevin Kuykendall. "The designation is highly valued in the food industry because the testing is performed by an independent laboratory and the data is reviewed by the USDA. With this validation, our customers now have the assurance that they need to move forward with the RAPID-B system. As they do, they lower their inventory risk, get their product to market faster, help contribute to the safety and security of the global food supply chain, and increase consumers' confidence in the industry's commitment to food safety."

Friday, April 18, 2014

ATCC Expands Portfolio With Quantitative Mycoplasma DNA Reference Materials

ATCC, the premier global biological materials resource and standards organization, announces the expansion of its current solutions for mycoplasma quality control to include quantitative mycoplasma genomic DNA prepared as Certified Reference Materials. These preparations support our wide range of quality control products, which include the Universal Mycoplasma Detection Kit and a collection of 10 titered mycoplasma reference strains. ATCC Certified Reference Materials are calibrated to one or more specified properties, making them ideal for use in challenge assays, inclusivity/exclusivity testing, establishing limits of detection, verifying or comparing test methods, and benchmarking critical assay performance during assay validation or implementation.

Mycoplasma species are frequent contaminants of cell cultures, affecting numerous phenotypic and functional characteristics of cells. To facilitate the rapid and reliable PCR-based detection of mycoplasma in cell culture, animal sera, and other raw materials, ATCC recently released quantitative mycoplasma DNA Certified Reference Materials. These nucleic acid preparations were isolated from strains most frequently associated with cell culture contamination, and were quantified for genome copy number using digital PCR-based technology.

“The inherent variability of biological materials brings unique challenges to establishing standards for in vitro model systems and to establishing ISO compliant processes to produce them,” said Mindy Goldsborough, Ph.D., VP and General Manager of ATCC Cell Systems in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “By producing Certified Reference Materials under an ISO Guide 34 accredited process, ATCC is able to provide biological materials with confirmed identity, well-defined characteristics, and an established chain of custody. These qualities make ATCC Certified Reference Materials ideal as biological standards for research and development purposes, and provide scientists complete confidence that their results are reliable and reproducible.”

Researchers Examine Effects of Introducing Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria in Africa

Researchers from the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group conducted a review of the effects of introducing rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for diagnosing malaria in primary healthcare settings in Africa where laboratory services are unavailable. The review included seven randomized controlled trials, enrolling 17,505 people with fever, and found that using RDTs reduced the prescription of antimalarial drugs by up to three-quarters, but didn't change the number of people still unwell a week later.

Most malaria cases occur in rural areas of Africa where health workers have to rely on clinical symptoms alone to diagnose malaria. This typically results in most people with fever being given antimalarial drugs, even though many of them will have other causes of fever; many likely to resolve without treatment, but with a few requiring antibiotics.

RDTs are simple to use diagnostic kits which can detect the parasites that cause malaria from one drop of the patient's blood. They do not require laboratory facilities or extensive training, and can provide a simple positive or negative result within 20 minutes, making them suitable for use in rural areas of Africa. This allows health workers to check whether people with fever have malaria or not.

The review found that in areas where malaria was less common, and where health workers followed the test result correctly, using RDTs greatly reduced the prescription of anti-malarial drugs. In some studies antibiotic prescribing was increased in the RDT group, but in others it did not change. This may be because health workers are not given clear guidance on what to do when the test is negative, the authors of the review suggest.

Five studies followed up patients in both groups to see if there was any difference in the number that were well a week later, but the analysis did not show conclusively whether using RDTs made any difference. The review authors say that introducing RDTs is unlikely to improve health outcomes for people with true malaria, but may help the health workers better treat people with fever caused by other diseases.

John Odaga, from Uganda Martyrs University, Kampala, the lead author, said: "The review shows that if RDTs are introduced with appropriate training and support they can reduce unnecessary use of antimalarial drugs. However if we want to improve health outcomes, we need to also improve the treatment of the other causes of fever".

The Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group prepare and update systematic reviews in malaria, tuberculosis, tropical diseases and other infections, with a total of 117 reviews published. They are a global group with 18 editors, 569 authors and the LSTM host the editorial base.

Rapid Micro Biosystems Secures Additional Financing

Rapid Micro Biosystems, a leading provider of automated, non-destructive, rapid microbial detection for quality control testing of pharmaceutical and personal care products, today announced that it closed on additional funding from its existing investors on April 1, 2014. The funding will be used to expand the commercial and manufacturing operations in support of the Growth Direct(TM) System and the companion applications including: environmental monitoring, sterility and bioburden testing. Providing faster results from quality control testing allows drugs and vaccines to be produced and released more quickly, economically and safely.

This financing round featured continued participation from the existing investors; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Longitude Capital, Quaker Partners, TPG Biotech, and TVM Capital.

"Securing the additional funding allows the company to implement our commercialization plans which will support our customers' global adoption of the Growth Direct(TM) technology," said Steve Delity, President and CEO.

Growth Direct(TM) is the only system on the market where all microbial testing can be run both concurrently and automatically on a single instrument. The system provides detection of microbial contaminants starting within just hours; sending problem alerts so that decision-making and remedial action can start immediately. Leveraging an already proven detection technology, the Growth Direct(TM) System delivers exceptional enhancements to productivity, faster response time and reduction in errors.

"The investor group sees the tremendous impact the Growth Direct(TM) System will have in the market and with the imminent launch of the product line is pleased to invest additional funding to expand operations," said Richard S. Kollender - Board Member and Partner at Quaker Partners.

Cepheid Announces European Release of Xpert Norovirus, the First On-Demand Molecular Test for Detection of Norovirus

Cepheid announced the release of Xpert® Norovirus, a qualitative in vitro diagnostic test for rapid identification and differentiation of Noroviruses genogroup I (GI) and genogroup II (GII), to be marketed as a CE IVD product under the European Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. The test runs on Cepheid's GeneXpert® System, the world's leading molecular diagnostic platform.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus and is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis worldwide. Noroviruses can be transmitted from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal pain characterize infection. Globally, the virus affects approximately 267 million people and causes over 200,000 deaths each year.1

"Norovirus exposure is an unfortunate fact of life. The associated illness can spread quickly in the hospital setting and be very serious, especially in young children and older adults. To actively manage the infection, clinicians have been forced to choose between accuracy and time-to-result when selecting a testing method — but now Xpert Norovirus delivers both," said John Bishop, Cepheid's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Noroviruses are divided into five genogroups, GI to GV. Xpert Norovirus detects and differentiates the GI and GII genogroups, which account for the majority of human infections.

"In the hospital setting, patients admitted with severe Norovirus infection can be a source of this infection to other patients," said Dr. Kate Templeton, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medical Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, and a Consultant Clinical Scientist in Microbiology. "It is important that patients infected with Norovirus are identified as early as possible. Rapid molecular testing, when combined with prompt infection control measures of infected patients, provides an important new weapon in our battle against healthcare associated infections."

"Xpert Norovirus is the first test of its type to provide STAT molecular detection of this emerging nosocomial pathogen," said Dr. David H. Persing, MD, Ph.D., Cepheid's Chief Medical and Technology Officer. "Norovirus outbreaks require immediate implementation of infection control procedures and this new test gives clinicians accurate results in as little as one hour."

Xpert Norovirus is now available as a CE-IVD Mark product.


1. Patel MM, Widdowson MA, Glass RI, Akazawa K, Vinje J, et al. (2008) Systematic literature review of role of noroviruses in sporadic gastroenteritis. Emerg Infect Dis 14: 1224–1231. doi: 10.3201/eid1408.071114

Microbiologics Expands Helix Elite™ Molecular Standards Product Line

Microbiologics, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of biological controls and standards, has expanded their line of Helix Elite™ Molecular Standards with the addition of two globally prevalent viral pathogens, West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV), just in time for the peak summer season for the United States.  Both of these viruses are transmitted by mosquitos and are significant epidemiological targets because of their increasing geographical distribution.  Microbiologics® Helix Elite™ Molecular Standards are innovative synthetically produced DNA or RNA controls designed for use as a genetic surrogate for pathogens which are difficult to grow or are particularly unsafe to handle.  These non-hazardous and quantitated molecular standards may be used for the development, validation, and monitoring of a broad range of laboratory developed tests or commercial molecular assays and instruments.

Microbiologics, a foremost resource for ready-to-use quality control microorganisms, originally announced their new molecular products division in October of 2013, and introduced Helix Elite Molecular Standards less than a month later.  These synthetic standards contain consensus sequences of diagnostic regions from the target’s genome and represent the known genetic diversity of the microorganism.  Heading up the Molecular Products and Services Division at Microbiologics is Brian Beck, PhD.  Dr. Beck commented, “The additions of WNV and EEEV targets broadens the microbial diversity we now cover with the Helix Elite Molecular Standards portfolio. Our design and production technology enables us to product controls without the delays and expense that comes with traditional culture-based production methods.”

Brad Goskowicz, Microbiologics’ CEO, added, “As part of our commitment to a safer, healthier world, Microbiologics is now complementing our culture-based products with advanced, yet practical molecular controls that support the evolving field of molecular microbiology.”  Goskowicz continued, “Our technology uniquely positions Microbiologics to support individual researchers as well as custom manufacturing projects with manufacturers developing molecular diagnostics against emerging pathogens.”

Click image to enlarge.

Helix Elite Molecular Standards are packaged as a complete kit including 1 vial of dried synthetic standard, 1 vial of molecular standard water for rehydration, plus comprehensive Instructions for Use and a Certificate of Analysis.  The product is ready-to-use with minimal prep time and provides approximately 100 reactions using the recommended dilution series.

About Microbiologics, Inc.

Microbiologics is the world’s leading provider of ready-to-use QC microorganisms and innovative molecular controls for assay development, instrument validation and routine quality control testing of rapid diagnostic assays in clinical, pharmaceutical, food, water and educational industries.  The company operates in accordance with an industry-leading quality system including certification to ISO 13485, ISO 17025 and ISO Guide 34 standards.  Offering the largest and most diverse line of QC microorganisms, Microbiologics produces over 900 strains in a variety of user-friendly formats including qualitative, quantitative, Certified Reference Material, and Parasite Suspensions!  Microbiologics has an expansive international distribution network and ships to over 130 countries around the world.  The company is known for its exceptional Customer Service and knowledgeable Technical Support.

For additional information, please contact Microbiologics or visit their website:

Microbiologics, Inc.
Customer Service
Phone: 320.253.1640

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Vanderbilt Virologist to Represent U.S. in Global Task Force to Detect and ID Infections

Vanderbilt Vaccine Center will join the Global Virus Network's Chikungunya Task Force, a global collaboration to address a mosquito-spread virus that has reached the Caribbean and South America.

The Chikungunya virus, which causes severe fever and pain, has remained primarily in Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, but has spread to the Caribbean with the first known cases occurring in October 2013. It is estimated that there have been approximately 15,000 cases in the Caribbean since that time.

The task force is composed of 16 virologists representing nine countries. Dr. James Crowe, director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, is representing the United States. The group's efforts will focus on issues related to rapid identification of infections, improved treatment options and development of an effective vaccine.

"By being part of this new global collaboration, we will have the opportunity to exchange information that will help in developing not only an effective response to Chikungunya virus but likely a better understanding of how to respond to other viruses that threaten the U.S.," Crowe said.

New Diagnostic Kits to Help Combat Malaria

Control of malaria in coastal Andhra region would be easier with the introduction of rapid (bivalent) diagnostic kits (RDK) under the national vector-borne disease control programme (NVBDCP) this year, said health officials on the occasion of World Health Day. This is because the kits would help test both kinds of malaria strains, which require different modes of treatment, explained the officials.

Further, with the implementation of the new drug policy using a combination of drugs (instead of the traditional mono-therapy to which resistance had developed), malaria could be controlled successfully in the vulnerable districts of Andhra Pradesh, the health officials said.

WHO, which is this year focusing on vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, fileria and Japanese encephalitis, has as its theme for World Health Day 2014 'Small Bite, Big Threat'. In keeping with the theme, the state government is focusing on control of malaria, which is mostly prevalent in coastal Andhra.

There has been around 25% decrease in instances of malaria in the state in 2013 compared to 2012, according to statistics provided by the State Epidemic Cell (SEC) and the Vizag district malaria control office. In Vizag district alone, malaria instances have come down by around 20%.

"There's around 25% decrease in malaria cases in 2013 as compared to 2012," said Dr Champa Naik, additional director (malaria and filaria), SEC.

Dr NRV Somaraju, regional director, medical and health services (north coastal Andhra), attributed the success in malaria control to the multi-pronged approach of NVBDCP. Since WHO research had found that the plasmodium or malarial parasite had developed resistance to chloroquine that was used in malaria treatment since decades, a combo drug therapy is used with artesunate, sulfadoxine and pyremethamin combination treatment (ACT) for all the positive cases under the new drug policy.

"Moreover, from this malaria season, we are using rapid (bivalent) diagnostic kits (RDK) instead of the monovalent ones. With monovalent RDKs, only plasmodium falciparum (a species of protozoan parasite) can be detected in the blood drop but now bivalent RDKs can detect even plasmodium vivax (pv) (another species), which requires treatment with primaquine for two weeks whereas ACT for plasmodium falciparum (pf) lasts for three days," said Somaraju.

"If left without treatment for 48 hours, pf malaria can be fatal and 90% of malaria cases in tribal and rural areas are those of pf, while pv is mostly seen in plains," he said.

"Under NVBDCP, intensive surveillance activities are being carried out and health staff has been trained to detect the presence of the parasite in blood using the RDK and blood smear test even in remote areas and accordingly commence treatment," said Vizag district malaria control officer and entomologist KVS Prasad Rao.

"Besides, under the integrated vector control approach, weekly anti-larval operations have been taken up by municipalities either through releasing the gambusia fish in water bodies that eats up larvae or through spraying of bio-larvicides. There is indoor residual spraying in tribal and rural pockets and fogging operations in urban areas and insistence on personal protection measures such as use of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN), lakhs of which has been distributed in tribal areas," he said.

As for the other vector borne diseases, dengue, which usually affects urban dwellers, can be controlled by observing weekly dry day and not allowing water accumulation inside the house. Fileria, which is not alarming in the state, is controlled through annual mass drug administration, while vaccines are available for Japanese encephalitis.

PathoGenetix Delivers Bacterial Identification System to MRIGlobal for Evaluation

PathoGenetix™, Inc., developer of an automated system for rapid bacterial strain typing, announced today that it has delivered and installed an early commercial version of the RESOLUTION™ Microbial Genotyping System to MRIGlobal, an independent contract research organization. MRIGlobal has purchased the RESOLUTION System as part of a U.S. government-funded project, and will be evaluating use of the System for identification and strain typing of specific organisms using MRIGlobal-developed assays.

The RESOLUTION System is based on PathoGenetix’s proprietary Genome Sequence Scanning™ (GSS™) technology, which enables pathogen serotype identification and strain typing in just five hours, directly from complex mixtures such as environmental, clinical and enriched food samples. Initially developed to detect bio-threat pathogens in environmental samples under a five-year, $50-million contract through the Department of Homeland Security, the breakthrough GSS technology isolates and analyzes DNA direct from complex mixtures—without the need for a pure culture isolate. The strain type information provided by GSS is comparable in resolution to pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), one of the current gold standards for pathogen identification.

MRIGlobal and PathoGenetix have collaborated for several years in the ongoing evaluation of the GSS technology for biodefense applications. MRIGlobal has purchased a RESOLUTION System as part of a U.S. government-funded project, and will be evaluating the system for use in the rapid identification of specific organisms, using MRIGlobal-developed assays. The RESOLUTION instrument will be used to build a database for identification of select microorganisms. As one of the nation’s leading research institutes, MRIGlobal conducts programs in the areas of national security and defense, life sciences, energy and the environment, agriculture and food safety, and engineering and infrastructure.

“We are delighted to be one of the early adopters of the PathoGenetix technology,” said Michael Cassler, Ph.D., General Manager of MRIGlobal Dx, a division of MRIGlobal. “We see tremendous potential in its use for metagenomics analysis.”

Delivery of an early commercial stage instrument for the biodefense industry represents a key milestone in the product development and commercialization of the RESOLUTION System’s advanced microbial identification and strain typing capabilities, which have broad applicability in biodefense, food safety, industrial microbiology, and public health and research. A fully automated RESOLUTION System including instrument, bioinformatics software and database, and pathogen-specific assays will be commercially available 4Q-2014 for use in food safety testing and foodborne illness outbreak investigations.

“We are thrilled to reach this milestone in making Genome Sequence Scanning a reality for the biodefense community, in our continued efforts to commercialize this powerful technology for government and industry applications,” said PathoGenetix Vice President of Business Development, John Czajka, Ph.D.

PathoGenetix’s unique Genome Sequence Scanning technology is a decisive advance in microbial identification, providing strain-level identification of microorganisms from complex samples to enable fast, actionable information for informed decision-making. Because GSS works directly from complex samples, it can provides strain-level identification in just five hours, days sooner than current identification methods such as Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole or next generation sequencing. Yet GSS’s automated platform and simplified protocol required minimal training and ensure consistent results.

This year PathoGenetix also has delivered early commercial versions of the RESOLUTION System for evaluation in food industry safety testing and public health outbreak investigation and response. In February, PathoGenetix delivered a System to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess its in identifying pathogens involved in foodborne illness outbreaks, and in shortening decision and response time in public health investigations.

PathoGenetix also shipped a RESOLUTION System to Marshfield Food Safety, LLC, under an agreement with the Wisconsin-based microbiology- and chemistry-testing laboratory to conduct independent testing and feedback on use of the RESOLUTION System for pathogen confirmation and identification in food industry applications.

Accelerate Diagnostics to Raise $45M for Funding its Rapid Pathogen Detection Program

Tucson-based Accelerate Diagnostics Inc. has launched a $45 million offering of stock-purchase rights to existing shareholders to help fund commercialization of its technology to rapidly detect and identify infectious pathogens.

The company, which moved its headquarters from Denver to Tucson in 2012, raised $20 million in a similar rights offering last summer.

The new offering will give shareholders fractional subscription rights at the rate of about one purchase right for each 15.6 shares of common stock. Each full right will allow a participating shareholder to buy one Accelerate share at $16.80 per share, the company said.

Accelerate’s stock closed Monday at $17.64, down $1.03 or about 5.5 percent, in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The Nasdaq was down about 1 percent overall on Monday.

As part of the latest offering, Accelerate has received a standby commitment from the Jack W. Schuler Living Trust and the Schuler Family Foundation to purchase any shares of common stock that are not subscribed for by stockholders.

The company said the purpose of the rights offering is to raise equity capital “in a cost-effective manner that gives all of the company’s existing stockholders the opportunity to participate on a pro rata basis.”

The earlier rights offering was oversubscribed, with 75 percent of eligible shareholders participating and 69 percent of the rights snapped up by company directors, the company said after completing the offering in August. In that offering, shareholders were given similar fractional subscription rights to buy shares at $8.04 per share.

Accelerate, which changed its name from Accler8 Technology Corp. shortly after moving to Tucson in 2012, is working to develop a rapid infection-detection testing system.

Accelerate says its patented, automated technology can identify bacteria in samples such as blood in hours — instead of the days it takes labs to culture and analyze specimens by hand — and can detect drug resistance in a specific bacteria strain.

The company has said it is working toward a goal of completing development of a market-ready prototype of its BACcel infection-detection system by 2015.

Accelerate was wooed to Tucson with the help of some $2.4 million in conditional financial incentives. In 2012, the company moved into a space at the Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road, with cut-rate rent as part of an incentive package offered by Pima County.

The company already has hired more than 50 people and could reach several hundred, officials say.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Roche To Buy U.S.-based Molecular Diagnostics Company IQuum

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG said that it has agreed to acquire IQuum, Inc., a privately-held U.S. molecular diagnostics company, in a deal worth up to $450 million. Roche expects the acquisition to expand its offerings in the molecular diagnostics market.

Under the terms of the deal, Roche will make an upfront payment of $275 million to IQuum shareholders and pay an additional $175 million if that company attains product-related milestones. On completion of the transaction, IQuum will be integrated into Roche Molecular Diagnostics.

Founded in 1998 by Dr. Shuqi Chen and co-founder Keith Greenfield, Marlborough, Massachusetts-based IQuum is commercializing its lab-in-a-tube technology and products for the clinical diagnostics, bio-defense, and industrial testing markets.

Roche noted that the acquisition will provide it with access to IQuum's Laboratory-in-a-tube or Liat System, which enables healthcare workers to perform rapid molecular diagnostic testing in a point of care setting, closer to patients and with minimal training. The Liat Analyzer and Liat Influenza A/B Assay, the first test available for use on the system, produce lab-like results and are CE marked and FDA cleared.

Roland Diggelmann, COO of Roche Diagnostics said, "With IQuum, we further strengthen our molecular diagnostics offerings with cutting-edge technology and products that serve the point of care segment. Patients will benefit from on-the-spot and accurate diagnoses, which will allow healthcare professionals to make rapid, informed treatment decisions in flexible settings."