PositiveID Corporation has announced that it has filed a new U.S. patent for its Firefly Dx real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) pathogen detection system. The patent filing, A Cyclical and Continuous Flow PCR Device, covers a cyclical mechanism of thermal cycling required to complete real-time PCR and deliver results in less than 20 minutes. This brings the Company's total number of patents and patents pending to 17.
Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results 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.
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, etc.), agricultural screening in both domestic sectors and developing countries, and for the detection of biological agents associated with weapons of mass destruction.
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.
"This patent filing demonstrates the advances we have made in developing and miniaturizing our real-time PCR chip, which is the engine of the Firefly Dx system," stated William J. Caragol, Chairman and CEO of PositiveID. "Based on our years of experience with PCR testing, we are confident that the advanced technology underlying this patent filing brings us another step closer to bringing Firefly Dx to the large PCR market, which is in need of a system that can provide rapid results anywhere, anytime."