Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

3M to Use Lumora Real-Time Bioluminescent Assay Tech in Food Testing

Premium

By Ben Butkus

UK-based molecular testing firm Lumora has licensed its proprietary real-time bioluminescent assay technology to 3M, which will use it to develop and market nucleic acid test kits for pathogen detection, primarily in the food safety market, the companies said this week.

Based in Cambridgeshire, Lumora spun out of the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge in 2002 to further develop its firefly luciferase-based technology, called bioluminescent assay in real-time, or BART, which it couples with isothermal amplification techniques for various molecular testing applications.

Lumora has been developing its own molecular tests in areas such as HIV viral load monitoring and gastrointestinal infections, primarily for use in the developing world, and has been seeking industrial partners for this work. It has also been outlicensing the BART technology to companies interested in additional applications.

Although BART was originally developed for molecular diagnostics, Lumora briefly explored its use in food-testing applications, and in 2006 licensed isothermal amplification technology from BioMérieux to combine with BART for that purpose. However, in May the company raised £1.5 million (about $2.4 million at the time) in a Series B financing to help support a shift back to clinical diagnostics (PCR Insider, 5/26/11).

Now it appears that 3M will take the reins on using BART for food-testing applications. Company officials were not immediately available for comment; however, a spokesperson for 3M confirmed that it would be using the Lumora license in its pathogen detection business in the area of food safety.

"This is more than a licensing agreement, it is collaborative effort, applying all of our capabilities to help make them successful," Paul Weinberger, chief marketing officer at Lumora, told PCR Insider. Weinberger added that the company also has capabilities in bioinformatics, assay design, and lyophilization, among other areas that it can contribute to the 3M partnership.

"This is hopefully the first of several licensing deals that we'll do," Weinberger said. "We hope to build on this and get more world-class collaborators to develop and commercialize products with, particularly for clinical applications." Weinberger added that the company has not yet licensed the BART technology out for clinical or research applications.

3M's most publicized foray into the molecular testing space to this point has been its ongoing collaboration with Quest Diagnostics' subsidiary Focus Diagnostics, which has been developing PCR-based assay content for 3M's Integrated Cycler platform (PCR Insider, 10/26/09).


Have topics you'd like to see covered in PCR Insider? Contact the editor at bbutkus [at] genomeweb [.] com.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.