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PositiveID Readies Next Prototype for Handheld Pathogen Detector

A biological detection developer said Tuesday that it had completed the second-phase prototype design for a handheld pathogen-detection system.

PositiveID Corp. said it was the first major milestone in the development of its Firefly Dx product, which is a “real-time, handheld, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pathogen-detection system.”

PositiveID already has started to build the prototype and expects to finish it in the first half of 2015. The company said it also expects the prototype to have the ability to test samples in less than half the time of its first prototype.

William Caragol, chairman and CEO of PositiveID, said the need for a product such as Firefly Dx is very high right now, and it can be used to detect a number of different pathogens.

“The market opportunities and critical need for a rapid diagnostic device like Firefly Dx, which can be used in the field without bulky lab equipment, are very significant,” Caragol said. “Whether utilized by the health care or defense communities for detecting various strains of influenza, biological weapons of mass destruction, Ebola, or other pathogens, Firefly Dx is designed to be a simple-to-use device that provides lab-quality, real-time PCR results anywhere, anytime, within minutes to save lives.”

PositiveID said that in the third quarter of 2014, it had accelerated the second-phase development of Firefly Dx and had partnered with Infinite Vision, a specialized engineering firm with expertise in biotechnology and medical devices.

“The company is now assembling the hardware components required to complete the second-phase device and build the prototype that demonstrates the functionality, speed, sensitivity and specificity of the Firefly Dx system,” PositiveID said.

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