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MBio Receives Two Awards for Test Menu Expansion and Approval of HAB Toxin System

Expanded testing for toxins generated by harmful algal blooms in freshwater and  shellfish to reduce testing burden on the aquaculture industry and improve the safety of the nation’s water and food supply.

October 7, 2020 Boulder, CO  MBio Diagnostics today announced receipt of two three-year NOAA/NCCOS PCMHAB awards for test menu expansion of its HAB Toxin System. One award is to expand the menu of freshwater toxins, and the second is to facilitate regulatory approval of a triplex test to measure HAB toxins in shellfish. The combined award amount is over $1.8M for both projects over three years.

Freshwater cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) contribute to more than $2 billion in annual US economic losses. Routine testing for CHABs protects against contaminated drinking water and recreational water for the safety of humans and animals. Currently, MBio’s HAB Toxin System can detect two types of cyanotoxins, microcystins and cylindrospermopsins. The first award will expand the panel to test for the four most commonly found HAB toxins by adding detection of saxitoxins and anatoxin-a. This test will be the first of its kind to detect all four major toxin classes that are typically generated by HABs in freshwater and the first portable test for detecting saxitoxins in freshwater.

The second award is to facilitate a single laboratory validation study of a triplex shellfish test that will be submitted to the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) for consideration as an approved method for toxin testing in shellfish. The ISSC works together with the US FDA to ensure the safety of the nations’ shellfish supply. Shellfish are filter feeders and can accumulate high concentrations of toxins generated by HABs, which necessitates testing for these HABs prior to harvesting.  A simple, low-cost method of detecting the toxins that cause forms of shellfish poisoning in a single sample will reduce the testing burden on the aquaculture industry while improving the safety of the nation’s food supply.

Both awards show how MBio’s LightDeck® testing platform can reduce cost and save time with portable, multiplexed tests. “Under these two PCMHAB awards, the MBio HAB Toxin System will be uniquely positioned to detect HAB toxins.  The 4-plex panel detecting all major freshwater toxins will be the first of its kind and will improve public safety by making it easier for water resource managers to test for more toxins rapidly.  The triplex shellfish test for all 3 major classes of toxins found in saltwater and shellfish and will ease the regulatory burden on shellfish aquaculture by simplifying testing” says Sarah Bickman, Product Manager at MBio; “Our collaborators on these two awards make these projects unique by providing expertise, advice, and testing.”

 

“I am very excited that we will be able to use Lake Erie as a test bed for the expanded MBio toxin panel.  As CHABs continue become more prominent in freshwater systems globally, it is critical that we have a rapid method to detect and quantify CHAB toxins so that water resource managers can make informed, timely decisions that will help protect human health during these events.” 

Timothy Davis

Patrick L. & Debra (Scheetz) Ryan Endowed Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University

About MBio Diagnostics

MBio Diagnostics believes in a new approach to healthcare, where quick and accurate diagnostic tests will be run wherever and whenever they are needed, without compromise. The company’s proprietary LightDeck® platform combines an advanced laser waveguide with novel materials and patented manufacturing techniques to deliver lab-quality results anywhere, in minutes. The LightDeck platform is achieving success in veterinary diagnostics and for environmental testing. MBio is also introducing a portfolio of in vitro diagnostic panels, with the first being an on-the-spot test for COVID-19. Learn more at www.MBioDx.com.

Disclaimer
Funding from the Prevention, Control, and Mitigation (PCMHAB) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the PCMHAB or NOAA.

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