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Fast Track, UgenTec Expand Collaboration With Artificially Intelligent PCR Interpretation Software

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – UgenTec and Fast Track Diagnostics have expanded an ongoing collaboration to include artificially intelligent PCR interpretation software.

FTD's kits will be available in the first quarter of 2018 on UgenTec's fully automated FastFinder real-time PCR interpretation system, which will enable automation and standardization of analysis of FTD's kits with Applied Biosystems 7500 and LightCycler 480 PCR platforms. The software will be developed for nearly all other clinical PCR machines by the end of the second quarter of 2018, and rolled out to users over that period, the firms said.

UgenTec's FastFinder software, which was CE marked last year, uses artificial intelligence to analyze raw PCR results from multiple different commercial devices, resulting in more reliable measurement and "virtually no 'eyes on' time," according to the firm's website.  

"UgenTec's knowledge on overcoming PCR interpretation challenges has brought the analysis time of FTD's kits down to few minutes, bringing considerable efficiencies to the laboratory workflow," FTD CEO Bill Carman said in a statement.

UgenTec raised $1.4 million in funding from venture capital firms and the Belgian government in 2015 to further develop FastFinder's functionality, followed by approximately $2.3 million in seed funding last year. The firm has since also partnered with SpeeDx to provide interpretation for results for that firm's infectious disease diagnostics. 

FTD also recently formed a strategic alliance with Siemens Healthineers to add a range of its CE-marked kits and multi-syndromic panels to Siemens' Versant kPCR Molecular System menu. The company noted that it manufactures more than 70 kits validated on clinical samples that detect a total of more than 140 viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, and that its kits are used in hundreds of public and private hospitals and laboratories around the world, as well as in global surveillance studies.

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