SOURCE: Arcxis Biotechnologies

February 28, 2007 12:00 ET

Tentacle Probe™ Offers Assurance for Anthrax Detection

Joint Study From Arcxis Biotechnologies and United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Has Resulted in an Important Detection Test for Bacillus Anthracis, the Causative Agent of Anthrax

PLEASANTON, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 28, 2007 -- Arcxis Biotechnologies and United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) announced today the successful conclusion of their recent joint collaboration using Arcxis's patented Tentacle Probe technology for the detection of bacterial pathogens. Investigators demonstrated that the resulting assay was targeted to a chromosomal sequence in the gyrA gene of B. anthracis (anthrax), an organism which is a common focus of bioterrorist interest. The Tentacle Probe assay eliminated false positives, previously observed with closely related and naturally occurring bacterial species, such as B. cereus. The improved performance is due to the incorporation of multiple binding sites into the probe that combine to have a very strong overall cooperative effect.

"We felt that this project was important to undertake because detection of chromosomal targets, when used to complement assays that are directed to the virulence genes, can provide the genetic background of the organism containing plasmid pXO1 and/or pXO2 sequences," said Dr David Norwood, USAMRIID.

"We believed that we could develop a chromosomal assay for B. Anthracis where others had failed. Previous studies show that other Bacillus organisms may contain plasmid sequences (pXO1 and/or pXO2) but may, or may not, in fact constitute a biological threat agent," said Dr. West, CTO, Arcxis. "Using our Tentacle Probe technology we succeeded in identifying virulent from non-virulent Bacillus strains without sacrificing specificity or sensitivity and without reporting false positive results," he added.

"This is independent validation of both the performance and usability of our technology for infectious agents that may change naturally or by design," said Mr. Goldstein, CEO, Arcxis. "Given our recent funding we are now committed to bringing our technologies to the marketplace in the 2nd half of 2007."

Arcxis Biotechnologies, headquartered in Pleasanton, California, designs, develops and markets Tentacle Probe™ reagents as well as instruments systems for the isolation and detection of DNA/RNA. For additional information about Arcxis Biotechnologies, please visit the company's website at

U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Biological Defense Research Program, and plays a key role in national defense and in infectious disease research. The Institute's mission is to conduct basic and applied research on biological threats resulting in medical solutions (such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to protect the warfighter. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Contact Information

  • J. Clark Mason Ph.D.
    Director of Marketing
    Arcxis Biotechnologies
    (925) 461 1300
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