LexaGene Holdings Inc - CEO, Dr Jack Regan
CEO, Dr Jack Regan
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  • Biotechnology company, LexaGene (TSXV:LXG) has placed its pre-commercial instrument for testing COVID-19 in a major hospital laboratory
  • The instrument is now at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre’s Laboratory for Clinical Genomics and Advanced Technology, in New Hampshire
  • In addition to coronaviruses, LexaGene’s instrument can also screen for pathogens including influenza, RSV, adenovirus, and metapneumovirus
  • The instrument is for research only, and cannot be used for human clinical diagnostics until it gains FDA approval
  • LexaGene (LXG) is down 2.38 per cent and is currently trading at C$0.82 per share

Biotechnology company, LexaGene (TSXV:LXG) has placed its pre-commercial instrument for testing COVID-19 in a major hospital laboratory.

The hospital in question is the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre, in New Hampshire. LexaGene’s screening instrument is now at the hospital’s Laboratory for Clinical Genomics and Advanced Technology.

Vice Chair for Research and Director of the centre’s laboratory, Dr Gregory J Tsongalis, described the need for the instrument.

“Our standard test for SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19, takes about 7.5 hours. Given the highly contagious nature of this virus, this is a long time to wait.  

“We want the ability to get results much faster and to be able to screen for more pathogens at once, since respiratory symptoms can be caused by numerous other viruses,” he said.

In addition to testing for COVID-19, LexaGene’s instrument can also screen for other pathogens at the same time. This includes influenza, RSV, adenovirus, metapneumovirus, and seasonal coronavirus. 

The instrument also performs gold-standard chemistry in order to produce exceptional data quality. This stands in stark contrast to many tests which only screen for COVID-19 and have a higher false negative rate.

LexaGene’s founder and CEO, Dr Jack Regan, spoke about the company’s pre-commercial instrument.

“We are excited to be able to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 and illustrate our applications in the human clinical space. Our breadth of detection allows users of our technology to generate informative data for the vast majority of people with respiratory symptoms.  

“This is particularly important as healthcare providers are increasingly questioning negative results from COVID-19 only tests, wondering if the test result is a false negative or the person is sick from another pathogen,” he said.

The instrument cannot yet be used for human clinical diagnosis, due to authorisation protocols. 

LexaGene has submitted its plan for attaining Emergency Use Authorisation to the Food and Drug Administration. The company expects to complete the necessary studies in the near future.

Until LexaGene completes the studies and gains the FDA’s approval to use the instrument for COVID-19 testing, all work using the instrument must be classified as Research Use Only.

LexaGene (LXG) is down 2.38 per cent and is currently trading at C$0.82 per share at 1:05pm EDT.

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