Detection of viral outbreaks could be enabled by new technology from Picodya

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags immune status pandemic COVID-19 Research Data management

Large-scale global serologic surveillance with real-time monitoring of the immune status of human populations and detection of viral outbreaks could be enabled by new technology from Picodya.

The company is the creator of the first hybrid in vitro diagnostics (IVD) solution for multiplexed point-of-care testing (xPOCT) and announced the deployment of its B-Matrix technology in National Institutes of Health (NIH) laboratories.

Picoyda says this could further the PREMISE (Pandemic REsponse REpository through Microbial and Immune Surveillance and Epidemiology) goal of establishing a pre-emptive repository of candidate immunobiological countermeasures.

Picodya's B-Matrix platform is the first xPOCT IVD solution that performs both molecular and immunoassays from many body fluids on a single platform. The hybrid and scalable technology aims to deliver lab-comparable test results in a single patient encounter, considerably shortening the diagnostic timeline.

“With our knowledge of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on global health and following years of research collaboration with the NIH for crisis preparedness, we are proud to proceed with the next phase of this important partnership,” said Tzvika Barkai, founder and chief executive officer at Picodya.

“We remain dedicated to enabling timely, precise, and comprehensive disease diagnosis capabilities to optimize potential outcomes. We plan to introduce the B-Matrix solution to additional research labs across the US, followed by the broader clinical market.”

The NIH and its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) established PREMISE in 2021 to prepare for pandemic outbreaks.

PREMISE partnered with Picodya during the initial phases of development to install the B-Matrix technology at NIAID Vaccine Research Center’s (VRC) laboratories to detect reactivity to multiple potential pandemic threats.

Daniel Douek is chief of the human immunology section at NIH Vaccine Research Center and the director of PREMISE pandemic preparedness program and Picodya advisor.

He presented the program to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in September 2021.

Douek said: “Over the past two years, our team has established a global network of partner sites to meet the PREMISE objective of increasing immunologic monitoring of targeted human populations across the globe.

“We appreciate the significant benefits the B-Matrix platform could bring to the PREMISE program, enabling multiplex testing at scale with high accuracy. The platform is easy to operate and uses low sample volume, which therefore has the potential to accelerate the effective discovery of new products for vaccine design, early development, and clinical product testing.”

Picodya conducted a feasibility analysis for the B-Matrix platform showing the system is suitable for performing dozens of immunoassays and molecular tests, including Covid-19, influenza, HBV, EBV, prostate cancer, and cardiologic markers.

The B-Matrix diagnostic system is currently being adopted by global research facilities to help streamline timelines and reduce costs. The company has initiated its regulatory pathway and following approval is expected to be available for use in a variety of healthcare settings and large-scale venues.

The hybrid and scalable B-Matrix system automates sample preparation and provides lab-comparable results in a single patient encounter. The platform is being adopted by leading academic research institutions and pandemic preparedness programs in the US and Europe and is designed for use in hospitals, physician offices, retail pharmacies, and large-scale settings such as stadiums and airports. Founded in 2018 by Yehuda Yavets-Chen and Kibbutz Hatzerim, Picodya has raised $48 million to date. 

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