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BioMérieux, FDA Partner to Develop Molecular Tools for Food Safety

NEW YORK — French diagnostics maker BioMérieux said Wednesday that it has partnered with the US Food and Drug Administration on the development of new molecular tools for the detection of food-borne pathogens.

BioMérieux said it will specifically work with the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment, and Office of Regulatory Science. The collaborators plan to use new technologies to improve the isolation of Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli, enhance detection of Cyclospora cayetanensis, and simplify microbial characterization methods for food-borne pathogens including Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

These projects, BioMérieux said, will be advanced through the company's XPro program, which was launched in 2019 to develop molecular diagnostics for food quality and safety.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The XPro program is the result of an ever-evolving and increasingly nuanced landscape of existing and emerging food safety and food security challenges," Vik Dutta, BioMérieux's senior director of scientific affairs and market access for the Americas, said in a statement. "The FDA's ongoing transformation under the proposed Human Foods Program makes this a natural collaboration, and we look forward to extensive collaboration to minimize risk and further public health."

About a year ago, the FDA announced the planned creation of the Human Foods Program, which would comprise CFSAN and certain of the agency's other offices to protect and manage the US food supply.