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Aussie Firms Universal Biosensors, SpeeDx Ink Licensing Deal For MDx Platform Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Australian diagnostics firm Universal Biosensors on Monday announced it has signed a non-exclusive license that provides it access to SpeeDx's proprietary MNAzyme technology.

The technology is a "sensitive and highly selective" method for DNA and RNA detection, Universal said, and today's deal allows it to use the technology in combination with its diagnostic biosensor to access the molecular diagnostics market. Universal aims to develop a molecular diagnostic platform "that can deliver rapid, low-cost results at the point of care," it said.

SpeeDx, also based in Australia, develops catalytic nucleic acid enzymes for medical diagnostics and other applications, according to the company's website. MNAzymes is for analyte detection and can be used in isothermal direct detection format or linked to quantitative PCR.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Earlier this month Universal announced a partnership with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics to develop and commercialize products for the point-of-care coagulation testing market. Paul Wright, CEO of Universal, said that as a result of that deal and the SpeeDx agreement, "We are now well-placed to pursue further opportunities in this large emerging market.

"Performing molecular diagnostics at the point-of-care would have significant advantages for patients, and [Universal] is looking forward to addressing this unmet need by developing low-cost, rapid tests," he said.

Universal's technology platform uses a novel electrochemical cell "that can be adapted for multiple analytes and provide for enhanced measurements in whole blood," it said.

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