Sagentia delivers alpha prototype of new microbial genotyping system for PathoGenetix Inc.

09 May, 2013

Sagentia Inc., a global technology, and product development company, announced today that it has completed initial alpha prototype development of the RESOLUTIONTM Microbial Genotyping System that it is developing for PathoGenetix Inc.

“It has involved working at the cutting edge and at the limits of what’s currently possible from a science and technology perspective. It’s also a product that can deliver true value to society.”

As PathoGenetix’s technology and product development partner, Sagentia has been working with them for the last two years across the full product development lifecycle: helping to take two initial bread board systems and combining them into an intuitive and usable system with a smaller footprint, as well as a lower per unit cost base.

The RESOLUTIONTM System is based on PathoGenetix’s proprietary Genome Sequence ScanningTM (GSSTM) technology that was initially developed to detect bio-threat pathogens in environmental samples. Although initially developed as part of a contract for the Department of Homeland Security, the technology is now being developed for faster and more efficient pathogen identification in the food industry. The breakthroughs in the underlying technology are twofold: the GSS approach used in the RESOLUTIONTM System automates the process of isolating and analyzing single DNA molecules from complex mixtures, eliminating the need for a pure culture isolate; and it expedites the results by providing molecular serotype and strain type information for target bacteria in five hours, much faster than other existing methods. The strain type information that the GSS approach provides is comparable in resolution to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).

Sagentia’s involvement initially focused on concept validation and voice of the customer analysis across worldwide sites. The output of this effort helped PathoGenetix’s management to determine and define the company’s go-to-market strategy. Subsequently, the focus has been on developing the architecture and delivering the electro-mechanical and electro-optical aspects that enable the GSS technology to be taken to market. This has included the detailed design and development of state-of-the-art custom optics, robotics, fluidics, pneumatics, and embedded and application software.

“The RESOLUTIONTM project with PathoGenetix is exactly the type of project that we love to get involved with,” said Sagentia’s Chief Technology Officer Robin Lee. “It has involved working at the cutting edge and at the limits of what’s currently possible from a science and technology perspective. It’s also a product that can deliver true value to society.”

Pathogenetix’s RESOLUTIONTM System has the potential to identify the specific pathogen causing a foodborne illness outbreak which is a critical step in defining the extent of the outbreak, determining the food involved, finding the source of the contamination and defining the scope of a product recall. The ability of GSSTM to derive useful data directly from a complex mixture, not requiring the complex and lengthy process of first creating a cultured isolate for input, is critical. This new approach promises to shorten the time for pathogen subtyping, is less skill intensive, is compatible with newer pathogen detection methods being used in clinical and food industry laboratories and therefore may allow for quicker decisions affecting public health.

“Sagentia has been a great product development partner. Working with them has allowed us to get to market faster with concept to delivery of the new RESOLUTIONTM System in 18 months,” said PathoGenetix CEO Ann Merrifield. “This exciting technology has a lot of potential in food safety and we look forward to demonstrating its potential as we take it forward to commercial launch.”

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