11 February 2020: Federal Government Support for Queensland Rapid Disease-Detecting Technology

The Federal Government has awarded a Queensland biotechnology company $2.4 million to help it further develop its revolutionary disease-detecting technology.

XING Technologies has been granted funding under the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) to develop a world-first on-farm disease detection platform for livestock.

The rapid and low-cost screening system would allow farmers to conduct their own mastitis testing of dairy cattle and is one of nine research project that have been funded by the Morrison Government under round 8 of the CRC-P funding. The platform is designed to be utilised in future to detect a wide range of on-farm diseases affecting livestock and plants

XING CEO Tom Esplin said the portable technology could also be utilised in the future at airports and seaports to test incoming and departing passengers for viruses, such as the novel Coronavirus, and help contain deadly outbreaks.

“The technology was developed to identify pathogens, including viruses and bacteria, without requiring a laboratory or an expert to operate. It can positively identify specified diseases and produce accurate results within 40 minutes,” Mr Esplin said.

“Our scientists and manufacturing partners are working on an updated version that is smaller and will provide a diagnosis within 15 minutes. This could be used at entry and departure points without disrupting passenger flows,” he said.

“We routinely screen for dangerous weapons – why not routinely screen for dangerous diseases?”

“The key is having a non-intrusive and non-invasive method of detection, which is very fast and allows passengers to continue to move through international ports with minimal disruption.”

Mr Esplin said the platform currently detects diseases in humans, animals and fish and will shortly be trialled on plant material and human cancers.

“It has been designed in such a way that it can incorporate detection of new viruses as they emerge in the future,” Mr Esplin said.

“We could assist the Federal Government and health agencies to positively identify viruses such as Coronavirus,” he said.

Mr Esplin said the revolutionary platform had attracted strong interest at a national and international level.

“XING has been engaged in research activities with Australian government agencies, developing solutions to biosecurity issues spanning human health, agriculture and marine environments,” Mr Esplin said.

XING has been invited to Washington, DC to present its GenosisTM technology to a US government biosecurity agency in early March.

Key features of the new generation GenosisTM diagnostic test:

  • A cartridge half the size of a mobile phone, which uses XING’s patented Rapid DNA extraction technology.

  • Genetic information from a blood, urine or saliva sample is extracted within seconds for analysis.

  • The cartridge is then inserted into a reader that makes a fast diagnosis available within 15 minutes

With standard disease testing, samples are sent away to a laboratory for analysis and results are usually not available for hours and sometimes days.

Since it was first detected in China in December, Coronavirus has infected more than 40,000 people in 24 countries and led to more than 900 deaths. There have been 15 confirmed cases in Australia.

“Global health emergencies such as these are likely to continue as more people travel between countries. It is imperative that we contain spread of disease without crippling commerce. One way of doing that is to improve detection methods,” Mr Esplin said.

About XING Technologies

XING Technologies is a company specialising in transformative diagnosis and monitoring technologies, for cancer and disease. Its proprietary nanotechnologies are transforming the future practice of medicine and enabling personalised healthcare. These include nanotechnologies for nucleic acid, protein and rare cell detection. XING has headquarters and pathology laboratory facilities at Sinnamon Park in Brisbane and is establishing manufacturing facilities in mid-2020.

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