As a supplier of proprietary ‘platform-agnostic’ lyophilised reagent technology, BioGX is well aware of the importance of flexibility when it comes to its customers. Founder, chief scientific officer and executive vice-president Michael Vickery, PhD, explains the importance of the firm’s products remaining ‘platform agnostic’ in addition to its more cosmic ambitions.

Could you describe the full range of services that BioGX provides for its customers?

Michael Vickery: BioGX’s proprietary Sample-Ready technology is at the core of all product offerings for the clinical, food safety, pharma quality control and water quality testing markets. In its early years, we focused on the development and manufacture of an extensive line of multiplex real-time PCR-based molecular diagnostic products for the food safety and water quality markets.

Since 2011, BioGX has built a world-class reagent manufacturing system in facilities that operate under ISO-13485, and developed a vast menu of multiplex real-time PCR tests for clinical targets, which are now being released in Europe and around the world as CE-marked in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) tests. We also offer a full range of custom component manufacturing services for PCR-based testing, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and other molecular technologies and chemistries, available in the US and other countries around the world.

What makes BioGX unique in this marketplace?

BioGX is platform agnostic, manufacturing for all instrument platforms rather than a single platform. Our Sample-Ready technology allows us to manufacture products that include all required reagents for molecular analysis in a single tube, meaning the end-user (or their robot or instrument) need only add water to set up the complete test – hence our tagline, ‘Just add water’. This makes it possible to greatly simplify workflows and reduce costs, which is especially valuable when running highly multiplexed real-time PCR tests or complicated NGS preparation protocols.

All of our products can be shipped anywhere in the world at ambient temperatures, greatly reducing shipping costs (as no heavy dry ice is required) and losses due to shipment delays. For some of our existing customers, testing would not even be possible without the availability of our freeze-dried reagents, allowing them access to remote regions of the globe.

We can manufacture in an almost unlimited variety of tube formats, packaging formats, reaction volumes and tests per tube. Our unique design, development and manufacturing processes make our turnaround times for de novo development and manufacturing validation very short, to the point of being unrivalled in the industry.

Why was it important for BioGX to make its services platform agnostic?

BioGX applies its ‘platform-agnostic’ reagent technology to offer products and contract services across a variety of real-time PCR and NGS platforms. In the world of molecular diagnostics, we sell tests for all brands of diagnostic instruments, while most other companies sell tests that are brand and instrument specific. This uniquely allows us to serve the entire market rather than a select customer base using a specific platform. It opens many opportunities that would not be available if we were limited to one or two instrument platforms. There are a number of ‘open system’ automated detection platforms presently available on the market, and we are able to manufacture reagents for all these platforms.

Could you tell us a little about BioGX’s recent collaboration with NASA?

BioGX, the first company to put real-time PCR technology in space, recently launched reagents to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. BioGX is the proud manufacturer and supplier of reagents for the NASA WetLab-2 programme on board the ISS. According to NASA, real-time PCR-based gene expression analysis is a powerful tool for examining the molecular and cellular processes underlying spaceflight-induced conditions such as decreased immunity, loss of muscle and bone, cell stress, changes in the cell cycle, and changes in growth and development.

Knowledge gained on the ISS using this technology will not only assist in developing ways to improve human health during long space flights, but may also contribute towards understanding how to prevent and treat diseases on Earth. Other study applications may include basic research in biology, drug discovery, analysis of environmental conditions on the ISS and analysis of clinical samples from crewmembers.

BioGX’s Sample-Ready lyophilised reagent technology enables real-time PCR-based scientific studies in the uniquely challenging microgravity environment of the ISS. On Earth, new genetic markers are discovered every day. In the future, as BioGX continues to launch an extensive line of CE-marked IVD tests in Europe and around the world, we will pursue innovation as we develop an even greater array of unique products and solutions to meet the rapidly growing needs of the world of molecular diagnostics. We are launching several such unique products this year. Visit us at ECCMID 2017, booth 4A, and check out our line of CE-marked IVD products.