While we haven’t mentioned PositiveID Corp (OTCMKTS:PSID) directly here on Street Register in the past, we have been aware of the stock for quite some time. The company has been developing its stable of technologies for a long time, and we’re seeing a significant bit of progress for one of those items per the most recent announcement.
PSID does have noteworthy products that are past the development phase, but the one we are specifically referring to is the still under-development Firefly DX handheld point-of-need diagnostic device, which is a self-contained pathogen detection unit.
A subsidiary of PositiveID Corp (OTCMKTS:PSID) (ExcitePCR) announced today that it has successfully detected Ebola virus on the Firefly Dx breadboard pathogen detection system (“prototype system”) and published a white paper and data on PositiveID’s website and ExcitePCR’s website.
In a collaborated effort with assay partner GenArraytion Inc., ExcitePCR successfully detected Ebola virus on the Firefly Dx prototype system. Ebola virus was tested at low number of copies via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the amplification curves demonstrated a cycle threshold (Ct) of 21. The automated runs successfully synthesized cDNA using a proprietary reverse transcriptase (RT) step and then completed a 40-cycle PCR to produce the results.
Rapid detection and diagnosis of Ebola virus infection along with vaccination is imperative to quickly containing an epidemic. Ebola is an RNA virus and requires a RT step prior to PCR. Despite its potential diagnostic advantages, RT-PCR methodology (both conventional and real-time approaches) typically requires significant laboratory infrastructure, electrical power, multiple temperature-sensitive reagents, the operation and maintenance of specialized equipment, and technical expertise in molecular biology, potentially complicating deployment in resource-limited settings.
“At the height of the Ebola virus outbreak, there were multiple challenges with accurately diagnosing individuals due to the need to collect samples, take them back to a central lab, and then wait hours or even days for results,” stated Lyle L. Probst CEO and President of ExcitePCR. “Firefly Dx could eliminate those challenges as a self-contained, portable lab for point-of-care/point-of-need applications, providing results in 30 minutes.”
The recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa has highlighted both the importance of rapid and accurate diagnosis of this disease and the challenges around diagnostic testing. Throughout the 2014-2015 outbreak, diagnosis relied primarily on testing of venipuncture blood samples from symptomatic individuals in a biocontainment laboratory facility, leading to challenges with specimen collection and data management and often a prolonged turnaround time to final results.
Continued Mr. Probst, “Ebola detection is a perfect example of an application where Firefly Dx could be particularly critical – in remote locations, far from lab facilities, where time to results can mean life or death. This is why we have formed ExcitePCR; to facilitate getting the necessary strategic partner and direct funding in place to complete the development of what we believe is a very important product that can change the face of biological detection.”
In addition to Ebola virus, the Firefly Dx prototype system has also successfully detected a number of other pathogenic organisms including Zika, E. coli, influenza, MRSA, MSSA, C. diff and others. (Source: Globe Newswire)
We certainly would like to see the Firefly DX move on from the development stage, because as we said, the company has been working on this product for quite a long time. The achievement of a key milestone such as detecting Ebola successfully, could move them one step closer to their goal of getting it to market for the sake of shareholders and the people it could ultimately help. We’ll stay up on any further developments with PSID and pass them along to you! Stay locked on StreetRegister.com and be sure you’re signed up for our 100% free smallcap newsletter. It’s as easy as that! Simply submit your primary active email address in the box below. Subscribe now!
Disclosure: No one at Street Register has been compensated in any way for the publishing of this article, nor do we hold any position in PSID stock, short or long.