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GEN News Highlights : Feb 9, 2012

Tetracore, Courtagen Take on Biodefense Initiative

Partners will develop point-of-care surveillance and detection assay.

Courtagen Life Sciences entered into a strategic collaboration with Tetracore to develop a biothreat assay for diagnosing high-priority biological agents in clinical and environmental samples. Target agents include those that cause anthrax and plague as well as dangerous toxins such as ricin and botulinum.

The combined effort will focus on addressing the critical need to quickly and accurately identify the pathogen while also quantifying the magnitude of the potential threat. The companies will pursue a first in class solution that could enable the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and other Federal biodefense programs to achieve their goal of developing biothreat point-of-care diagnostic countermeasures.

"The unmatched sensitivity, accuracy, and ease of use of Courtagen’s Avantra® Q400 Protein Biomarker Technology combined with Tetracore’s biothreat assay expertise will for the first time enable the creation of rapid diagnostic medical countermeasures in the field,” said Brendan McKernan, president of Courtagen Life Sciences. “The outcomes of this partnership have the potential to make a significant impact on biodefense, public health, and drug development initiatives.”

Courtagen’s multiplex detection technology is reportedly ideal for users who operate in a decentralized environment and require on-demand testing of biomarkers. The technology provides an integrated system that automates sample processing, reagent handling, biomarker detection, and analysis.

Tetracore focuses on antibody-based and nucleic acid-based detection reagents and technologies. It offers a range of highly specific, rapid, antibody-based test kits and antibody reagents for the detection of bio warfare infectious agents and toxins, including the first FDA-cleared test kit for identification of B. anthracis from colonies. Tetracore also offers a product line of real-time PCR test kits for detection of animal pathogens.