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ExcitePCR Company Facts Sheet

An artist's rendering of ExcitePCR's forthcoming FireflyDX-Portable: A rechargeable bookbag-sized realtime pathogen detection system that will enable anyone to obtain accurate, on-site results anywhere in the world in less than 30 minutes … including sample preparation time.
The "ExcitePCR Facts Sheet" provides a quick-read overview about ExcitePCR, its history, a layperson's description of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), ExcitePCR's patent portfolio, market opportunities, product development plans, and more.
Wed, 08/30/2017

Overview

ExcitePCR Corporation is developing portable realtime pathogen detection systems based upon superior PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) methodologies. Its FireflyDX™ technologies will deliver automated Point-of-Need / Point-of-Care (PON / POC) sample preparation and highly accurate biohazard identification significantly faster than using existing PCR-based solutions.

History

ExcitePCR traces its roots back to 2004 when Microfluidic Systems was one of seven companies awarded contracts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a solution to automatically detect airborne pathogens. Over the next seven years, Microfluidic was the only company to meet the DHS requirements as the firm developed what it named the M-BAND™ system, a refrigerator-sized pathogen detection solution. From 2004 — 2011, Microfluidic received over $35 million in DHS funding before being acquired in 2011 by PositiveID with the express intent of developing portable realtime biohazard detection systems. Concurrently, the company proved it could miniaturize the critical components of the M-BAND to a fraction of the size into a non-commercialized system called the Dragonfly™. Then in 2017, ExcitePCR was formed as a standalone corporation designed to commercialize the company’s FireflyDX technologies.

Simplified Technical Background

Polymerase Chain Reaction (or PCR) was developed in 1983 and is the scientific name for what the National Human Genome Research Institute describes as molecular photocopying. To identify whether or not a certain biological pathogen is present in a blood draw, throat swab or other human, animal or plant sample, one typically needs 1 billion or more DNA segments present to make such a determination; this needs to be done while also minimizing the potential presence of contaminants. This is where PCR comes into play.

In most basic terms, following an original sample capture (e.g., blood draw, throat swab, etc.) and the cleansing of such a capture from contaminants, the PCR process takes four steps:

  • Pre-Prep:  Introduce DNA Polymerase enzymes, DNA Primers, nucleotides and buffers into the container holding the captured sample
  • Denaturing:  Heat the sample to 94—96° C for 30 seconds to several minutes to break-apart (or denature) targeted cell DNA strands
  • Annealing:  Cool the sample to 50—64° C for 20—30 seconds to allow the Primers to begin to bind to the denatured DNA strands (or anneal back together)
  • Extension:  Rapidly heat the sample to 72—80° C to trigger the DNA replication process

Each PCR cycle doubles the number of targeted DNA samples in the container, which typically means running 20—40 PCR cycles before 1 billion or more DNA segments have been created, enough to accurately determine the potential presence of a targeted pathogen. When deployed with the TaqMan® DNA polymerase enzyme, the ABI 7500 PCR system from Thermo Fisher Scientific is viewed as delivering Gold Standard results for in-laboratory PCR today.

Patents

ExcitePCR has been issued two U.S. Patents (7,607,641 and 8,133,451), with two other U.S. patents pending.

Global Market Needs and Opportunities

ExcitePCR has identified several targeted markets/industries, including

First Responders (Minimal to zero regulation):  Bio-threat agent detection, from metropolitan to rural, e.g., Anthrax, radiation, etc. $5.6B annual sales in 2016.*

Agricultural (Minimal to zero regulation):  Food / Animal Safety, including Points-of-Entry, e.g., Bird or Swine Flu, GMO detection, etc. Projected $19B annual sales by 2018.*

Human Infectious Diseases (Highly Regulated):  Both in-hospital/clinic and in-field diagnostics required, e.g., Influenza, STDs, Zika, etc. Projected $45B annual sales by 2020.*

Non-Infectious Human Diseases (Highly Regulated):  Both in-hospital/clinic and in-field diagnostics required, e.g., Cancer, HPV, etc. Projected $13B annual sales by 2020.*

The FireflyDX Family of Portable Realtime Pathogen-Detection Systems

Since 2011, ExcitePCR has been developing a technology platform for a new class of biological detection systems that

  1. Can be used in the field by non-professionals and non-technicians,
  2. Dramatically reduce sample prep time to as little as 10 minutes,
  3. Maintain the high levels of accuracy delivered by in-laboratory PCR solutions,
  4. Do not require the use of a separate personal computing device,
  5. Can test for the presence of multiple pathogens simultaneously, and
  6. Provide highly accurate results in under 30 minutes.

Currently, ExcitePCR has two products in development: the FireflyDX-Portable™ and the FireflyDX-Handheld™.

  • The FireflyDX-Portable is a bookbag-sized, realtime pathogen detection system that is slated for commercial availability in Summer 2018.
  • Conversely, the FireflyDX-Handheld will leverage prior FireflyDX technologies and will fit into a single hand, with commercial availability planned for 2019.

ExcitePCR Management

Lyle Probst:  President, CEO, Founder & Board Member

Kimothy Smith:  Chief Science Officer & Board Member

David Politis:  Chief Marketing & Sales Officer

Bill Caragol:  Chairman of the Board

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* — These are total market size projections, with sales potentials for FireflyDX technologies being a subset of each.

ExcitePCR, FireflyDX, FireflyDX-Portable, FireflyDX-Handheld and Dragonfly are each trademarks of ExcitePCR Corporation. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

CONTACT:  David Politis, dpolitis@excitepcr.com, C: 801-556-8184