Outbreak of infectious diseases such as SARS, swine flu (H1N1 virus), avian influenza (H5N1 virus) and dengue fever can cause significant morbidity and mortality in addition to seriously affecting the national economies of tourism-centric countries. Biological warfare employs pathogenic bacteria or viruses as an “invisible” weapon which can be deployed without warning at any time. In 2001 nearly four million animals were slaughtered in Europe to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD) during a massive veterinary pandemic.
The challenge during these crises is to rapidly detect such infectious agents, even at low levels, in both victims and the environment, to contain the spread of disease and to isolate the sources. Today there is no diagnostic technology platform that can meet this challenge. Centralised laboratory testing requires transportation of the sample to a distant location and takes several hours of testing to provide a result.
Our solution is the patent-pending RAP*DNA platform which allows PCR (polymerase chain reaction) based detection of DNA or RNA from infectious agents in less than 15 minutes in the field, by untrained personnel. Our integrated and automated diagnostic device, with gold-standard PCR accuracy and very low cost assay format is practical and economical for wide-spread deployment across doctor’s clinics, border-crossings and remote locations. The RAP*DNA platform can be configured for real time tracking via internet, GPS or SMS to provide centralised surveillance and monitoring, thus enabling local and international health authorities and agencies to have real time mapping of epidemiological information for immediate response and containment.
Singapore-incorporated Biochip Devises Pte Ltd’s hybrid business model includes direct sales in niche applications as well as a comprehensive out-licensing program to ensure maximum market penetration across a wide range of clinical, veterinary, military, food and environmental applications.