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LexaGene, US Army to Test Automated Pathogen Detection System for Biothreats

NEW YORK — LexaGene said on Thursday that it has signed an agreement to evaluate its MiQLab pathogen detection system in collaboration with the US Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM.

MiQLab is an RT-PCR sample-to-answer system developed for veterinary diagnostic and food safety applications. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, LexaGene has also been exploring its use for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other human pathogens.

Under the terms of their Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, DEVCOM and LexaGene will test the MiQLab system's ability to detect two biothreats — Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax, and Yersinia pestis, which causes plague — focusing on its sensitivity and quantitative detection capability.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"This CRADA enables our team to work with biothreat specialists within DEVCOM who have access to unique biothreat samples and secure government laboratory facilities," Manoj Nair, director of applications and assay development at LexaGene, said in a statement. "This working arrangement is critical for us to advance our goal of providing technology for biothreat detection to the United States government."

In June, Beverly, Massachusetts-based LexaGene reported generating revenues of $58,000 on sales of MiQLab systems and consumables.