LexaGene Holdings Inc (CVE:LXG) (OTCMKTS:LXXGF) saw its shares rocket on Tuesday after announcing that its in-house technology successfully detected a common agricultural fungus.
Shares of LexaGene powered 12.7% higher in Toronto to C$0.62, and 10.2% higher at US$0.45 south of the border.
The biotechnology company’s LX analyzer picked up the presence of gray mold, a common agricultural pathogen in over 200 plant species such as strawberries, grapes and cannabis.
During the study, scientists used the LX analyzer technology to process vegetable washes from strawberries that either appeared healthy or showed signs of premature decay. In the latter group, the analyzer generated conclusive results that pointed to the presence of gray mold and none in the healthy group.
Estimates of gray mold damage to crops range between losses of $10 billion up to $100 billion, according to data from LexaGene.
Dr. Jack Regan, LexaGene’s CEO and founder, said in a statement that LexaGene’s technology can detect pathogens in both human and plant species.
“Previously, we reported successful detection of human foodborne pathogens such as E. coli and Staphylococcus, and here we are reporting that the LX analyzer can also detect plant pathogens,” he said in a statement.
“Data from this fungal study further indicate that the LX technology will offer best-in-class sensitivity for detecting rare pathogens. Exceptional sensitivity is important, as early detection will allow farmers to potentially avoid millions of dollars in crop losses due to (gray mold) and other plant pathogens."
Pathogen detection platform
Massachusetts-based LexaGene is developing the very first fully automated pathogen detection platform that is open-access, meaning that end users can target any pathogen of interest by loading their own real-time assays onto the instrument for customized detection.
The company expects to sell its technology in the veterinary diagnostics and food safety markets, among others.
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