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The team hopes the one-year grant will help it develop a quick, affordable assay that will be deployed in public health laboratories for disease surveillance. The lab is developing the assay to run on a portable instrument from Akonni Biosystems.

In addition, Akonni is developing tests based on the biochip technology for a number of other infectious agents, and is designing and testing an integrated instrument platform to perform the tests, with the ultimate goal of seeking US regulatory clearance.

The money will be used to accelerate development of Akonni's hands-free, sample-to-answer system with a goal of providing testing to underserved populations.

Eppendorf will promote Akonni's nucleic acid extraction kits for use with Eppendorf's automated pipetting system to clinical, clinical research, and forensic laboratories in North America.

The firms will jointly market Akonni's TruTip nucleic acid extraction kits with the Eppendorf epMotion automated pipetting system.

While the system will provide a level of multiplexing that is "more than conventional PCR, but not as high as microarrays in general," the expected cost "is on par with, and in some respects lower than, what hospitals and clinics are paying for real-time PCR."

New Product Watch: Nov 3, 2009

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