BioSentinel Releases “Real-Time” Detection Test for Deadly Strains of Botulinum Toxins
Product News Apr 30, 2009
A breakthrough test to detect small amounts of the most deadly strains of botulinum toxin has been released by BioSentinel Pharmaceuticals LLC, a Madison-based company.
The company’s new “BoTest”™ offers nearly a 300-fold increase in sensitivity compared to other botulinum neurotoxin protein-based assays on the market. It can detect picomolar level amounts of the toxins within minutes.
“BioSentinel’s groundbreaking assay will help protect our citizens at home and our troops in the field, and the expanded research opportunities hold much promise for future health care benefits,” said U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who secured federal funds to help support BioSentinel’s research.
The BoTest™ assay (nonclinical, research use only) is intended for academic, government and pharmaceutical laboratories where an easy-to-use assay is required for drug-studies and discovery, quantification of toxin activity, and basic research studies.
“Reliable, sensitive, and robust assays for the detection of botulinum neurotoxins are critically needed in the marketplace,” said Ben Lap, CEO of BioSentinel Pharmaceuticals. “In the past, researchers in biodefense, basic research, and pharmaceuticals have relied on assays that were expensive or lacking the necessary throughput. We believe the introduction of BoTest™ to the market will allow researchers to perform experiments not previously possible and accelerate their research.”
“A start-up company’s first commercial product launch is an exciting achievement,” said Craig Heim, start-up licensing manager for WARF, which is the patent and licensing organization for the UW-Madison. “BioSentinel's accomplishment is even more impressive in the current economic climate, and I am especially proud to see a university start-up company fuel Wisconsin's economy and make the world a safer place.”
BoTest™ is designed to detect the proteolytic activity of botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A and E using a fluorescence-based substrate that allows for “real-time” readout of picomolar amounts of toxin activity.