The new patent covers conversion of existing Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays to the company’s rapid chemistry format, Xtreme Chain Reaction (XCR). While PCR technology is extremely effective in identifying and measuring infectious diseases and for forensic testing, it can take from one to several hours to complete a single test on a PCR-based testing platform. XCR supercharges the process on existing testing devices, more than doubling throughput and decreasing the wait time for results.
“Our unique intellectual property differentiates XCR from other nucleic acid amplification technologies by using existing conserved regions of the genome to identify infectious diseases in just 20 minutes on existing PCR instruments,” said Dr. Brian Caplin, chief scientific officer of XCR Diagnostics. “The ability to use our technology on any PCR system was key to our goal of impacting human health. We can now deploy XCR across a huge installed base of systems, allowing even small labs to do significant testing.”
“With the sudden global expansion of the novel coronavirus, it’s critical to make our technology available as soon as possible to help identify and sequester actual COVID-19 patients and carriers from the huge backlog of potential exposures,” stated Mark Powelson, CEO of XCR Diagnostics. “We’re confident that we can have a COVID-19 test ready for deployment through the FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) or for consideration by health authorities in other countries.”
XCR Diagnostics is also developing a proprietary portable instrument system called the Pyramid that will take advantage of patented XCR technology to perform on-demand testing in ways conventional PCR systems cannot. The Pyramid is smaller, lighter, and faster than PCR systems, providing actionable results in less than 10 minutes. Because of its compact size and flexible power requirements, it can be easily and cost-effectively deployed at point of care in the field, making it invaluable during a disease outbreak in hard-to-reach or medically underserved areas. Three tests are currently under development for the Pyramid with U.S. Food and Drug Administration clinical trials planned for this year.