today announced that it has advanced its existing commercial relationship with a UK-based customer, enabling the Company to manufacture a 19-plex infectious disease, DNA-based test in its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Toronto.
The technology transfer and the partnership on the project that has developed, will allow SQI to play a more strategic role for this customer, who is rapidly advancing their high-throughput diagnostic tests for agriculture, food safety and human infectious diseases. This DNA diagnostic test is intended to screen large volumes of samples on a recurring basis. The DNA-based products that SQI is being paid to commercialize will significantly reduce the time required to deliver a diagnostic result compared to current methods, which include traditional plate cultures. DNA-based tests for pathogens increase the accuracy of the identification of the source of the infection compared to traditional methods.
SQI Diagnostics previously announced a Master Service Agreement with this customer in August 2014, to automate their DNA-based pathogen detection tests on the Company’s sqidlite-dh platform. This initial automation project was successfully completed and demonstrated in September 2014.
“This additional business win is yet another positive development for us, highlighting that we continue to be successful in our commercialization strategies and that we are meeting the needs of our customers,” said Andrew Morris, CEO of SQI. “This technology transfer agreement is important as it enables us to manufacture our customer’s test kits in a controlled production environment. In turn, this enables us to produce these highly advanced multiplexed infectious disease tests for this customer’s animal health business, for on-going human clinical validation programs and future sales, as well as for other end-user customers in multiple molecular diagnostic markets.”
The Company expects to continue to build the business with this customer with subsequent agreements employing SQI’s expertise in multiplexing, high volume automated processing, detection and analysis of patient samples. The market for DNA-based tests, particularly in infectious diagnostics is large and growing. It is estimated that dairy testing for mastitis in North America generates as many as 60 million tests annually. Sepsis, a serious infectious disease affecting humans that can be detected using the same technology, affects approximately 1,000,000 people in North America annually and is estimated to cost the healthcare system over US$1 billion each year – earlier diagnosis and treatment could significantly improve outcomes and reduce costs.
Other Recent Developments
In November 2014, SQI Diagnostics received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its Ig_plex Celiac DGP Panel allowing it to be sold in the United States. Also during the month, the Company announced it had expanded its existing commercial relationship with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. In October 2014, SQI Diagnostics presented comprehensive data describing the superior performance of multiple Ig_plex tests performed for a variety of customers and compounds at the 14th Annual Immunogenicity Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. All of these tests were developed and run on the Company’s patented diagnostic platforms.
SQI Diagnostics continues to focus on selling products and services to pharmaceutical and biotech customers and on converting products initially used for evaluation by these customers to higher volume kit sales for use in clinical trials. This business development effort is focused on pharmaceutical, biotech, and vaccine companies that currently use labour-intensive, expensive, low throughput “single-plex” tests in their product development activities and on the contract research organizations that service the testing needs of such companies as well as strategic partners in the broader diagnostic sector.
About SQI Diagnostics
SQI Diagnostics is a life sciences and diagnostics company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products for advanced microarray diagnostics. The Company’s proprietary microarray tests and fully-automated systems are designed to simplify protein and antibody testing workflow, increase throughput, reduce costs and provide excellent data quality. For more information, please visit www.sqidiagnostics.com.
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