Rapid Testing Technology for Biopharma Drug Development Speeds Development, Testing and Trial Cycles for Pathogen Treatments


bird fluPathSensors Inc., a leading biotechnology and environmental testing company, has developed new technology that provides rapid detection and identification of bacteria, viruses and toxins.

The new Zephyr system for liquid-based assays further expands PathSensors’ instrumentation for aerosol collection and identification of airborne pathogens. It can help lower cost and hasten development of treatments for harmful and potentially fatal infectious diseases before they spread.

PathSensors has successfully commercialized MIT-Lincoln Laboratories CANARY®, a biosensor technology. The rapid kinetics and signal amplification of CANARY enables pathogen detection at sensitivities down to 3 cfu/pfu in less than five minutes.

PathSensors has developed technology that can be used by any lab technician to more quickly detect and identify pathogens, shaving hours off the process,” explained PathSensors CEO Ted Olsen. “Since many pharma companies are working round the clock developing treatments to mitigate diseases such as Ebola, Norovirus, Avian Influenza, PEDv and MERS, we believe we are providing a platform that will help them get to market faster. Our portable systems can detect airborne, foodborne and surface-based pathogens at a lower cost and at previously unattainable levels of speed and sensitivity.”

PathSensors now offers a complete line of instrumentation that can identify biological agents in any sample matrix: powder, liquid or aerosol. The instruments can be used standalone or as part of an integrated biological detection system.

The instruments are easy to use and typically require less than 30 minutes of training,” Olsen explained. “The user interface walks the operator through each step of the assay. As a result, the system can be operated by non-technical personnel on a research team.”

In addition to funding from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and its BioMaryland Center, PathSensors’ financial partners include Blue Venture Investors, Empower Baltimore Management Corporation (EBMC), Chesapeake Emerging Opportunities Club and the Virginia Active Angel Network (VAAN).

PathSensors’ remarkable technology can be used to fight the spread of pathogens through its rapid and accurate detection of bacteria and viruses, which will increase the safety of the food we eat and the air we breathe,” said Dr. Judy Britz, executive director of the BioMaryland Center. “In addition to this, faster identification leads to faster development of treatment options, and we’re proud to be a funding partner for this life-saving technology.”

The CANARY® technology licensed from the MIT-Lincoln Laboratory delivers extremely rapid detection of more than 25 pathogens at previously unattainable levels of speed and sensitivity. CANARY® incorporates pathogen-specific antibodies expressed on the biosensor surface, that in the presence of a pathogen (virus, bacteria or toxin) trigger an intracellular calcium release, which in-turn activates bioluminescent proteins to generate the emission of light.

PathSensors Inc., a biotech company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland has developed and commercialized MIT-LL technology enabling the highly reliable identification of airborne and liquid-based pathogens. PathSensors currently offers the Zephyr and BioFlash systems to provide the rapid and highly reliable identification of airborne, liquid and surface-based pathogens. Government organizations and industry currently use these systems for monitoring, detection and identification of pathogens in biosecurity, mail screening, food processing, agriculture and environmental testing. PathSensors (www.PathSensors.com) is privately held.

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