LexaGene Holdings Inc (CVE:LXG) (OTCMKTS:LXXGF) said Tuesday that its genetic analyzer technology successfully detected 100% of target superbug strains in new testing.
The successful tests are especially important as antibiotic-resistant bugs are typically identified at reference laboratories with a multiple-day turnaround time.
LexaGene’s genetic analyzers were able to pinpoint superbugs within one hour, according to the company.
The superbug isolates were provided to LexaGene by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration Antibiotic Resistance Isolate Bank.
According to the CDC, more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the US each year, resulting in over 35,000 deaths. The CDC has predicted that by 2050, 10 million people will die from antibiotic-resistant strains every year, a figure that surpasses the number of cancer-related deaths.
“Antibiotic resistance is a big problem,” LexaGene CEO Jack Regan said in a statement. “People are dying every day due to the lack of high-quality, rapid diagnostics at the point of care that can both identify the cause of an infection and determine whether it is resistant to common antibiotics.”
One hour turnaround
LexaGene developed a fully automated, molecular-based diagnostic that can provide these answers in an hour rather than the typical three-day turnaround time for a sample shipped to a reference laboratory, Regan said.
The biotech firm tested newly developed assays against dangerous antibiotic-resistant bugs and successfully detected 100% of the targeted genetic sequences.
The tests were divided into both pathogen identification and antibiotic resistance detection. In the pathogen identification test, LexaGene successfully detected each of the 125 targeted bacteria strains, while the antibiotic resistance tests detected 90 antibiotic-resistant strains and 123 multi-drug resistant strains, the company said in a statement.
“We now have tests that will detect bacterial pathogens that carry antimicrobial resistance and are responsible for the most commonly misdiagnosed infections,” said LexaGene’s Regan.
According to Regan, the firm’s goal is to provide healthcare professionals with an easy to use, on-site technology that quickly informs on identified pathogens and detected antimicrobial resistance so they can improve prescription practices, a “significant improvement” over the current three-day waiting period.
LexaGene is in the process of commercializing its genetic analyzer in 2020.
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