CNN’s Jake Trapper interviews Cary Gunn, Genalyte Founder and CEO, who explains a rapid response blood test that can detect the deadly Ebola virus and other fever-causing pathogens — including those that cause Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever, Dengue, Malaria and others.
Today Ebola tests in the United States look for nucleic acid specific to the Ebola virus — the RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test.
In Africa other tests, known as lateral flow are rapid, but are not accurate, according to Cary Gunn. The lateral flow test uses a paper-like material with a stripe that is prepared to react with the Ebola virus.
Genalyte’s test uses a system that uses pipettes that draw blood up to a silicon chip where the blood sample binds to the chip and the chip goes to work detecting viruses and proteins. Genalyte CEO and Founder Cary Gunn says the tests are effective after 8-10 days after a patient contracts the virus. He says it is impossible to close the window to zero days from contraction. However the nucleic acid test or RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test detects Ebola virus infection in as little as 3 days (72 hours). Blood that is collected in as little as 3 days (72 hours) after the onset of symptoms with a negative RT-PCR rules out Ebola virus disease. The RT-PCR test is more complicated, but it is more accurate with a narrower window compared to Genalyte’s test. Genalyte’s test is however more accurate than the other rapid tests, according to Gunn.
Genalyte is ready to supply the device as soon as it receives FDA approval. The device can detect 15 different pathogens at one time.
Currently no other rapid test can detect more than three pathogens at a time.
Genalyte, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based life sciences company,is a next generation clinical and life science company specializing in instrumentation and multiplex assays for biomarker and protein detection.
Genalyte technology has unique capabilities that may be developed to deliver critical advances in the containment of the current and future outbreaks. Genalyte has been applying its patented Photonic Ring Immunoassay technology to the detection of antibodies and viral antigens for over seven years.
Advance features include:
Obtaining first results in 10 minutes or less
Compatibility with whole blood, eliminating sample prep
Multiplex-enabled up to 15 diseases, strains, or markers per sample
1-2-3 operation by unskilled attendants
The device is already commercially available in academic labs, pharma and biotech companies, and entering clinical trials for autoantibody detection
Founded in 2007 and led by CEO and founder Cary Gunn, Genalyte has developed a new approach to immunodetection using silicon chip manufacturing methods. The technology platform uses its patented Photonic Ring Immunoassay technology to directly measure protein binding between antibodies and antigens or hybridization of nucleic acids.
According to their website, Genalyte has been supported by leading organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and utilized in research by collaborators such as those at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
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