LexaGene Completes Development of Antibiotic Resistance Panel
Adds capability to detect antibiotic resistance in pathogens within just one hour
BEVERLY, Mass. – May 15, 2019 – LexaGene Holdings, Inc.,(OTCQB: LXXGF; TSX-V: LXG) (the “Company”), a biotechnology company that develops genetic analyzers for rapid pathogen detection and other molecular markers, announced today that it has completed the development of an antibiotic resistance marker panel comprised of 12 assays targeting antibiotic resistance genes commonly found in bacterial pathogens. This further expands the Company’s capabilities in providing a complete testing solution for veterinarians to rapidly determine the cause of an infection and whether any antibiotic resistance factors are present. This information can then be used to prescribe the most effective therapy.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the most challenging problems faced by both veterinarians and medical professionals alike. Recent studies have shown that companion animals can transmit their infection to humans, including cases involving drug-resistant pathogens such as E. coli and Staphylococcus.1 Because of this risk and overall resistance trends in human clinical diagnostics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) considers antibiotic resistance to be one of the biggest public health challenges of our time. Each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people get an infection that is resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a consequence.2 “Superbugs”, or multidrug resistant bacteria, are becoming alarmingly common in both veterinary and human diagnostics. A recent report predicts that by 2050, antimicrobial resistant superbugs could kill an estimated 10 million people each year worldwide, overtaking cancer as a cause of death, and having a financial impact of $100 trillion USD worldwide.3 To lessen the probability of such an impact, new technologies are required that can quickly determine whether antibiotic resistance factors are present in detected bacteria, helping to reduce the amount of antibiotics that are unnecessarily prescribed or poorly matched for the resistance profile of the causative pathogen.
To address this problem, LexaGene is nearing completion of a beta version of its fully automated easy-to-use analyzer that will identify the most common pathogens and screen for the presence of several antibiotic resistance factors within an hour of sample collection. LexaGene’s key markets include veterinary diagnostics and food safety, both industries that rely on reference laboratories to process samples, which take days to return results.
Dr. Jack Regan, CEO and Founder of LexaGene, states, “The performance of our LX Analyzer and these newly-developed assays for detecting antibiotic resistant bacteria has exceeded my expectations. The ability of our technology to quickly detect both the causative pathogen and many antibiotic resistance factors will transform how veterinarians process clinical samples and make therapeutic decisions. By providing this information on-site and within an hour, veterinarians will be able to improve the quality of care, lower costs, and hopefully over time, this will lead to a reduction in the incidence of infections by drug-resistant strains.”
A video interview with Dr. Jack Regan regarding this news can be viewed here.
View details about the antibiotic resistance assays on the company website.
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3The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance Chaired by Jim O’Neill, December 2014
About LexaGene Holdings Inc.
LexaGene is a biotechnology company commercializing the very first easy-to-use, fully automated, genetic analyzer that is open-access. The open-access feature empowers end-users to target any genetic sequence of interest, whether of pathogen or human origin. To take advantage of the open-access feature, end-users simply need to load their own real-time PCR assays onto the instrument to customize their tests or run validated assays the company is developing. LexaGene’s analyzers offer excellent sensitivity, specificity, and breadth of pathogen detection while returning results in about 1 hour. The company expects to sell its technology in the food safety and veterinary diagnostics markets, as well as to markets that need easy-to-use customized testing such as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, academia, and institutions performing water quality monitoring, aquaculture pathogen surveillance, and others.
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This news release contains forward-looking information, which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectation. Important factors — including the availability of funds, the results of financing efforts, the success of technology development efforts, the cost to procure critical parts, performance of the instrument, market acceptance of the technology, regulatory acceptance, and licensing issues — that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations as disclosed in the Company’s documents filed from time to time on SEDAR (see www.sedar.com). Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.