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PositiveID Forms Subsidiary to Develop PCR-Based Pathogen Detection System

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – PositiveID announced today that it has formed a new subsidiary called ExcitePCR for the purposes of fully developing its Firefly Dx real-time PCR breadboard prototype pathogen detection system.

ExcitePCR, which is wholly owned by PositiveID, will own Firefly Dx. This arrangement allows for greater strategic flexibility, enabling the company to better pursue development partnerships or financing opportunities, PositiveID said.

The Firefly Dx prototype is a handheld, fully automated device that processes samples and detects pathogens at the point of need, according to the company. Its applications include detection of pathogenic organisms, agricultural and food screening, and detection of biological agents associated with weapons of mass destruction.

Firefly Dx is an agnostic system, and is being developed to operate with a series of cartridges for biological sample processing and detection, providing analysis and wireless communication of results within 30 minutes, PositiveID added. It works through a combination of sample lysis, purification, real-time PCR analysis, and the identification for nucleic acids of interest. The system is expected to be capable of processing a variety of sample types, including whole blood, buccal and nasopharyngeal swabs, urine, and environmental field samples.

"We have made significant achievements with the testing and development of the Firefly Dx prototype system since its inception, and PositiveID continues to have discussions with potential strategic partners and investors to complete the development necessary to begin third party testing and commercialization of Firefly Dx," PositiveID Chairman and CEO William Caragol said in a statement. "We believe these valuable assets are best positioned in ExcitePCR to maximize their value to PositiveID's shareholders."