SOURCE: EnviroLogix Inc.

January 29, 2008 09:24 ET

EnviroLogix and Ionian Technologies Partner to Develop Rapid DNA/RNA Tests to Meet the New Demands of Agricultural Markets

PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwire - January 29, 2008) - EnviroLogix Inc. (Portland, ME), a company developing rapid, on-site and lab-based immunoassays for detecting transgenic proteins in genetically modified seeds, plants and crops, and Ionian Technologies Inc. (San Diego, CA), a company developing proprietary rapid nucleic acid assay technology, announced they will collaborate on the development, manufacturing, marketing and sale of rapid tests for detecting genes or gene sequences of interest to agricultural biotechnology markets.

Under terms of their exclusive collaborative development agreement, which includes future tests serving the environmental, horticultural and food safety markets, EnviroLogix will identify appropriate seed biotech partners and gene targets, then market and sell products developed and manufactured by Ionian to those companies for the "in field" or "in house" detection of the gene sequences of interest.

Following a rapid sample extraction step, the technology provides for the isothermal amplification of nucleic acids, either DNA or RNA, in approximately 5 minutes, with PCR-quality sensitivity. Even the fastest PCR reactions require ~30 minutes; hence the technology provides a significant speed advantage compared to PCR. The amplification products can be detected using a variety of proprietary and standard methods, including fluorescent and lateral-flow readouts.

Current tests for identifying engineered seeds, grains or crops rely on detecting transgenic proteins with on-site immunostrips ("lateral flow" tests) or lab-based ELISA methods, or PCR. But PCR can be slow, and future biotech traits may not express novel protein markers or express these proteins at levels too low for immunoassays to detect. However, all current and future biotech products have or will have different gene sequences compared to non-engineered products, and thus the need for rapid -- and sensitive -- nucleic acid testing. Ionian's test methods are sensitive enough to detect single base changes between two otherwise similar sequences.

In addition to developing and selling rapid tests for GMOs, EnviroLogix, founded in 1996, develops, manufactures, markets and sells immunoassays for the detection of molds, mycotoxins, algal toxins, pesticides, and plant pathogens.

Founded in 2000, Ionian Technologies is leveraging its strengths in biodefense assay development to optimize and commercialize a molecular diagnostic platform designed to perform a range of analyses, from identifying infectious diseases to providing point-of-care testing.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact -

    EnviroLogix Inc.

    Bruce S. Ferguson
    Email Contact

    Ionian Technologies Inc.

    John G. Watson
    858-642-0998 ext. 221
    Email Contact