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CibusDx Inc., a new Salt Lake City-based diagnostic company that develops food safety platforms, has announced that it has acquired Pronucleotein Biotechnologies of San Antonio, Texas, and licensed the company’s ApolloDx diagnostic platform for development and commercialization of a new food safety testing system that can be used at any point in the global food supply chain. The platform can provide results onsite within 30 minutes.

“The new testing system combines ApolloDx’s mobile, hand-held medical diagnostic system with Pronucleotein’s DNA aptamer assay technology for detecting pathogens in food onsite anywhere in the supply chain, from the farm to production facilities to seaports to the grocery store,” said CibusDx CEO Jared Bauer. “Unlike standard lab-based testing, the CibusDx system reduces the time it takes to get results to 30 minutes or less from the current system requiring as long as four days. For consumers, food producers and distributors alike, this preserves the shelf life of food, while maintaining the safety.” 

The CibusDx food safety testing system aims to provide food producers and government regulators with a reliable, affordable and convenient point-of-need test system alternative to laboratory-based testing, the company said in a release. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is implementing the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act’s strategy of moving from responding to outbreaks of food contamination to preventing them.

The World Health Organization reported in 2015 that one in 10 people worldwide, or 600 million, fall ill every year from eating contaminated food and 420,000 die. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an estimated 48 million people get sick within the U.S., 125,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne pathogens. CibusDx feels that its new platform and products will help reduce these numbers. 

“The CibusDx test strips do not require refrigeration and have an extended shelf life,” Bauer said. “They are small and lightweight allowing them to be quickly shipped to any point in the food supply chain.”

Bauer anticipates commercialization of the CibusDx system by late spring 2018.