Lexagene’s Beta Prototype Exceeds Expectations During Testing at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital
98.2% Concordant with Reference Laboratory Generated Data
BEVERLY, Mass., July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — LexaGene Holdings, Inc., (OTCQB:LXXGF; TSX-V: LXG) (the “Company”), a biotechnology company that develops genetic analyzers for rapid pathogen detection and other molecular markers, announced today the test results from its first beta prototype placed at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital (Mass Vet) in Woburn, MA. Mass Vet is one of 24 hospitals owned and operated by Ethos Veterinary Health.
LexaGene’s test results were found to be >98% concordant with reference laboratory generated data. On average, four samples were processed per day, with infections caused by E. coli, Proteus, and Staphylococcus. During the study, the LexaGene test results correctly confirmed that 56% of the animals tested did not need antibiotics.
For the beta test trial, veterinarians at Mass Vet used LexaGene’s genetic analyzer to determine the cause of an infection and whether antibiotic resistance factors were present that could influence therapy decisions. They focused on processing canine and feline urine samples, but were given the opportunity to load other sample types onto the instrument such as swabs from surgical incisions, cervical swellings, and neck and chest wounds.
Dr. Sam Stewart DVM, DACVECC, Commercialization Scientist Fellow at Ethos Veterinary Health reports, “LexaGene’s analyzer is really going to be a game changer. Our team’s enthusiasm for this technology has been so overwhelming, we’ve asked LexaGene to allow some of our other hospitals to beta test the technology.” Video testimonials from the veterinary team can be viewed here.
“Emergency veterinarians are frustrated that there are no easy-to-use instruments to rapidly and accurately detect infectious diseases inside the hospital. This is a problem, as there are many conditions and diseases that may or may not be caused by an infectious organism,” said Dr. Jack Regan, CEO and Founder of LexaGene. “For example, the symptom of incontinence in a dog could be due to a urinary tract infection (UTI), bladder cancer, kidney or bladder stones, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, prostate gland disease, and relative estrogen withdrawal.”
Due to the difficulty of diagnosing a UTI on symptoms alone, only ~17.5% of urine samples submitted for reference laboratory testing come back as positive for at least one bacterial isolate.1
“In the absence of rapid diagnostics, veterinarians currently treat animals empirically with antibiotics based on symptoms. The cost of a two-week antibiotic course is roughly $200 depending on the size of the animal and the chosen therapy. If the statistics of this beta trial remain consistent for an entire year, we would predict >$150K could be unnecessarily spent on antibiotics across all the dogs and cats seen at Mass Vet during the year,” said Dr. Jack Regan, CEO and Founder of LexaGene.
The practice of prescribing antibiotics without certainty regarding the cause of symptoms can lead to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.2 Many of these strains are now resistant to multiple antibiotics (i.e. superbugs).3 In-hospital, rapid and accurate diagnostics are needed to improve more responsible antibiotic use in veterinary practice.
“Our team has been thrilled to have the opportunity to use LexaGene’s beta prototype, which returns results in about one hour versus three or more days for reference laboratory generated tests. Having this information so quickly allows us to improve the quality of care – which is our highest goal. We look forward to continuing our work with LexaGene to conduct further validation studies, publish a peer-reviewed manuscript, and help bring this product to market,” said Dr. Chand Khanna DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Onc), DACVP (Hon), Chief Science Officer of Ethos Veterinary Health and President of Ethos Discovery.
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About LexaGene Holdings Inc.
LexaGene is a biotechnology company that develops genetic analyzers for pathogen detection and other molecular markers for on-site rapid testing in veterinary diagnostics, food safety and for use in open-access markets such as clinical research, agricultural testing and biodefense. End-users simply need to collect a sample, load it onto the instrument with a sample preparation cartridge, and press ‘go’. The LX Analyzer delivers excellent sensitivity, specificity, and breadth of detection and can process multiple samples at a time, in an on-demand fashion, returning results in about 1 hour. The unique open-access feature is designed for custom testing so that end-users can load their own real-time PCR assays onto the instrument to target any genetic target of interest.
- Hall et al., Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of canine urinary tract pathogens. Veterinary Record 2013.
- Normand et al., Trends of antimicrobial resistance in bacterial isolates from a small animal referral hospital. Veterinary Record 2000.
- Shao-Kuang et al., Antimicrobial resistance of Escherichia coli isolates from canine urinary tract infections J Vet Med Sci. 2015.