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Point-of-Care qPCR Developers Nuclein and Minute Molecular Diagnostics Merge

NEW YORK – Rapid point-of-care qPCR systems developers Nuclein and Minute Molecular Diagnostics announced on Thursday that they have merged. The combined firm, called Nuclein, plans to advance commercialization of a rapid, low-cost qPCR system this summer.

Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.

The Nuclein management team will be responsible for daily operations moving forward, while Minute Molecular's former leadership team will continue to support the company. Wally Narajowski, Minute's former chief operating officer, is joining Nuclein's board of directors.

The merger enables the combined company to accelerate the development of new products and technologies, the firm said in a statement, expanding its portfolio of molecular diagnostic tests.

Austin, Texas-based Nuclein has previously developed a handheld, disposable qPCR device called the Anywhere PCR Test, formerly known as the Nuclein Hand-Held PCR Test. Minute Molecular, a spinout of Northwestern University, has created a portable PCR test system called the Diagnostic Analyzer for Specific Hybridization, or DASH.

The merger positions the company to eventually serve both the home testing and point-of-care testing market segments, the firm said. Nuclein plans to begin commercializing DASH this summer.

DASH system development was supported by $14 million in private funding and $17.5 million from the National Institutes of Health's RADx program. A COVID-19 assay running on the system was granted Emergency Use Authorization last year.

The DASH system has a footprint on par with a cereal box, the firm said, and is simple to use, low cost, and portable. It can detect four targets simultaneously from sample types including nasal and vaginal swabs, saliva, urine, and whole blood.

"DASH has the potential to revolutionize point-of-care PCR testing, and we are excited to see its impact in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases," said Sally McFall, cofounder and former CSO at Minute Molecular.