PositiveID (Del Ray Beach, Florida), a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, said that it has filed an additional U.S. patent for its Firefly Dx real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) pathogen detection system titled, "A Cyclical PCR Device with Reusable Heat Zones." This brings the company's patents and patents pending for Firefly Dx to four, and the company's total number of patents and patents pending to 18.
Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results using PCR chemistry in a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need that are not possible with existing systems, which require lab-based equipment and can take hours or even days to provide results. This new patent application covers a PCR device to provide test results in less than 20 minutes while still using standard laboratory volumes and processes in an automated cartridge.
Firefly Dx is targeting the global PCR market, which is projected to reach approximately $27.4 billion this year, according to a Research and Markets' report Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) - Products/Tools - A Global Market Watch, 2009-2015. Firefly's applications include point of need monitoring of pathogenic outbreaks (such as Ebola, influenza, Dengue Fever, etc.), agricultural screening in both domestic sectors and developing countries, and for the detection of biological agents associated with weapons of mass destruction.
"We continue to strengthen our intellectual property position for Firefly Dx as our development and testing of the system progresses," said William Caragol, Chairman/CEO of PositiveID. "With the recent announcement that we are able to deliver positive test results within 20 minutes using our Firefly PCR chip, we are confident that our technology will not only work, but will represent a paradigm shift to the large PCR market."
PositiveID is developing Firefly Dx based on the know-how gained during years of development and $30 million of contract funding from the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security for the company's M-BAND (Microfluidic Bio-agent Autonomous Networked Detector) system, which uses PCR for the identification of airborne bio-threats.