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MBio Diagnostics Announces Two Contracts for Algae Toxin Test Development
New tests on MBio’s HAB Toxin System to provide detection of multiple algal toxins for food and water safety applications
September 17, 2019 Boulder, CO – MBio Diagnostics today announced two contracts to develop new tests for algae toxins. These tests will expand the offerings available on MBio’s existing platform, the HAB Toxin System.
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are increasing with warm temperatures and increased nutrient runoff into waterways. These blooms can produce toxins that pose a risk to food, humans, and animals. Fast, high sensitivity tests can identify danger early and help to build predictive models. Easy-to-use, portable equipment means that these tests can be easily and reliably executed.
The first award is from The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), part of the USDA, for the project, Rapid Multiplexed Detection of Algal Toxins in Shellfish and Seawater. Under this Phase II SBIR, MBio will develop three assays to measure toxins generated by HABs in saltwater for shellfish food safety. The toxins we will measure are saxitoxin, which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning, domoic acid, which can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning, and okadaic acid, which can cause diarrhetic shellfish poisoning. MBio will also develop high sensitivity assays that can be used to measure these toxins directly in seawater. In Phase I, we demonstrated unprecedented sensitivity that can assist with forecasting shellfish bed closures, and HABs.
The second award is from the Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB), part of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). This project involves a network of researchers, water utilities, and boat captains who are interested in monitoring microcystin and cylindrospermopsin in Lake Erie. The collaboration will deploy the MBio HAB Toxin System to twelve different sites around Lake Erie, leading to a network of data that can be used for HAB forecasting models. Timothy Davis, Ph.D. and his team at Bowling Green State University are part of this collaboration.
“I am very excited to see the MBio HAB Toxin System be used by Lake Erie water managers and citizen scientists to significantly expand our ability to track and report the toxin concentrations throughout the bloom in near real-time. These data will help improve toxin concentration forecasting models, which will ultimately lead to a better ability to protect human health,” said Davis. “MBio’s platform is ideal for monitoring these emerging threats to our drinking water and aquaculture” said Mike Lochhead, MBio’s chief operating officer. “With a <15 minute workflow and ability to multiplex multiple analytes on a single test cartridge, these new algae tests will expand the current menu already available with our HAB Toxin System.”
About MBio Diagnostics
MBio Diagnostics provides rapid, on-the-spot testing solutions for our global commercial partners. Our portable LightDeck® platform delivers panels of lab-quality results in minutes for critical applications in health care, veterinary, and environmental industries.
About LightDeck® Technology
MBio’s patented LightDeck® technology system translates laboratory assays into on-the-spot, critical decisions in minutes. Our LightDeck® platform incorporates low-cost, multiplexed cartridges with our fluorescent readers and intuitive software, with the ability to measure more than 50 analytes in a single cartridge. Our partners use LightDeck® technology to test key analytes across many applications for competitive advantages in the areas of quantitative sensitivity, multiplexing, and speed.
MBio’s research is supported by the National Institutes of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) under award number 2019-33610-30177 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under award number NA19NOS4780190. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIFA or NOAA.
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267-496-6391 ● Carrie.Mulherin@MBioDx.com