NEW YORK, Jan. 13 (GenomeWeb News) - Q-RNA, of New York City, said today it has validated its nucleic acid ligand technology for use in prion diseases, and plans to use it to develop a new kind of test for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease.
The privately-held company said its technology would make possible to conduct BSE blood tests in live cattle. Current BSE tests are performed on post-mortem brain or other nerve tissue. Screening of live animals would make possible wide-scale screening for BSE, without slaughtering large number of potentially exposed but uninfected animals.
Q-RNA said its data on applying its technology to prion diseases show "a dramatic increase in the performance of immunodiagnostic analysis for prion diseases." The company also said that its test would deliver fast results from the field.
This announcement is the latest in a slew of releases by companies eager to jump into the expanded market for BSE tests potentially created by the finding of BSE Dec. 23 in North American cattle. GeneSeek, Genaissance Therapeutics, and Sequenom have been involved in USDA efforts to confirm BSE infection in the Washington State cow that was initially diagnosed with the disease. (Also see BioArray News, 12-31-03, ProteoMonitor, 01-09-04 for in-depth articles on what the microarray and proteomics sectors are offering in the BSE arena.)