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Idaho Tech Wins US Army Contract to Develop Flu Tests on Portable PCR Platform

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Idaho Technology has been awarded a contract for an undisclosed amount by the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command to develop tests for multiple flu strains on its Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System, the company said today.

Idaho Tech said that the JBAIDS system and newly developed tests will be used to test military personnel and their families for influenza A and B, and subtypes of A.

JBAIDS, which is evolved from Idaho Tech's RAPID System, is a reusable, portable, and modifiable real-time PCR system that can simultaneously identify multiple biological warfare agents and pathogens of operational concern and clinical significance.

While traditional flu testing can take more than 48 hours to diagnose using culture methods, the JBAIDS expanded influenza panel will provide results for six flu targets in less than an hour, Idaho Tech said. The company also said that its work in flu testing may lead to the development of additional infectious disease assays for JBAIDS.

In September 2003, Idaho Technology was awarded the JBAIDS contract to provide rapid positive identification and diagnostic confirmation of biological warfare agents and other pathogens of operational concern for the four branches of the US military. As such, the instrument is already widely deployed at US military sites worldwide.

The latest initiative will replace the CDC swine flu detection panel on JBAIDS for diagnostic detection of the 2009 novel influenza A (H1N1) that was granted emergency use authorization by the FDA in August 2009, Idaho Tech said.

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